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West Ridge Synagogues, Jewish Businesses Defaced With Swastika, Broken Windows: ‘All The Hallmarks Of Hate-Based Crimes’

Two Jewish businesses, two synagogues and a school were defaced in West Ridge since Friday.

A swastika was spray painted on F.R.E.E. synagogue in West Ridge (left). An orthodox ambulance responds to a report of a Jewish man being attacked. Authorities later clarified the man was verbally assaulted.
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WEST RIDGE — Jewish institutions in West Ridge were vandalized and tagged with Nazi imagery over the weekend in what the local alderperson said “have all the hallmarks of hate-based crimes.”

At least two Devon Avenue businesses, two synagogues and a Jewish school were defaced or damaged since Friday, according to the Concerned Citizens League, a Jewish community group.

Someone spray painted a swastika Sunday evening on the headquarters of F.R.E.E. Synagogues, 2935 W. Devon Ave., said Rabbi Levi Notik. A Jewish man was verbally assaulted near the synagogue Sunday, according to police.

Someone also painted a swastika Sunday on Hanna Sacks High School, 3021 W. Devon Ave., according to the Concerned Citizens League.

“This is especially disturbing as we just concluded packing hundreds of meals for needy people, including Russian seniors and Holocaust survivors who experienced first hand anti-Semitism,” Notik said in an email. “And then to walk outside and see this.”

Detectives are questioning a person of interest in the vandalism case, police said.

Around 7 a.m. Friday, a synagogue in the 3600 block of West Devon Avenue had its side window shattered, according to police. The vandalism was caught on on security video, which showed a man kicking out the window, police said. No arrests have been made.

Two Jewish businesses had their windows broken Saturday: Kol Tuv, 2938 W. Devon Ave. and Tel Aviv Bakery, 2944 W. Devon Ave., the Concerned Citizens League reported.

Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) said police are working to see if the same group or person is responsible. Silverstein will host a community meeting on the incidents 6 p.m. Monday on Zoom. The public can attend by clicking here.

“These incidents are particularly upsetting as they come mere days after Holocaust Remembrance Day and in light of a worrying increase in anti-Semitism across the nation,” Silverstein said in en email to constituents.

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