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Synagogue, garages spray-painted with racial slurs in West Rogers Park

A badly drawn Star of David and the words “F – – – U!” were among the scribblings residents awoke to Sunday morning on synagogues, garages and other buildings in a largely Jewish area of West Rogers Park.

“It’s outrageous, It’s very sad,” said one resident, as she saw the words Monday sprayed in black paint on the back side of the tiny synagogue in the 2900 block of West Touhy she’s attended for two-plus decades.

In all, a dozen or more buildings appeared to have been hit with the racial slurs and other profanity.

About 6:40 a.m. Sunday, police responded to the store-front synagogue. Officers later got word of similar incidents in the 2800 block of West Estes and the 5700 and 5800 blocks of North Talman. Police labeled the incidents as criminal damage to property. There had been no arrests as of Monday evening.

<small><strong>Anti-Semitic graffiti was found spray-painted on garages and a small synagogue in West Rogers Park on Sunday. | Al Podgorski / Sun-Times </strong></small>
Anti-Semitic graffiti was found spray-painted on garages and a small synagogue in West Rogers Park on Sunday. | Al Podgorski / Sun-Times

Crews with the city’s department of Streets and Sanitation were out covering over the graffiti with paint early Monday.

One local rabbi, who didn’t want his name used, said the neighborhood generally isn’t a target for anti-Semitic graffiti.

“We’re pretty much a peaceful neighborhood,” the rabbi said. “It’s sporadic here and there. Nobody makes a big deal out of it. I’m from the East Coast. You know how you know you’re in a New York? You see all the graffiti.”

Others were less forgiving.

“We deplore this despicable alleged act of anti-Semitism, which deeply impacts the entire Jewish community and the community at large,” said Lonnie Nasatir, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of the Chicago/Upper Midwest Region. “This act reflects complete disregard for sacred Jewish institutions and individuals’ homes. We applaud the Chicago Police Department for taking this incident seriously and investigating it as a possible hate crime. We hope that the perpetrator(s) will be brought to justice.”

<small><strong>Garages and a small synagogue in West Rogers Park were spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. | NVP Video </strong></small>
Garages and a small synagogue in West Rogers Park were spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. | NVP Video