Diverse Faiths Unify to Support Synagogue Defaced by Anti-Semitic Graffiti

February 20, 2006

Source: Chicago Tribune


On February 20, 2006 the Chicago Tribune reported, "The message Sunday from a politician, a clergyman, a rabbi and a Muslim activist to a Jewish congregation in Uptown that saw its synagogue recently defaced by anti-Semitic graffiti was the same: A hate crime against one group is a crime against all humanity.

Nearly 200 people from all faiths filled the unheated upstairs of the Agudas Achim North Shore Congregation, 5029 N. Kenmore Ave., to hear speeches of hope and tolerance for Uptown's diversity. Other speakers referred to a recent string of arsons against black churches in the South and the publication of cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist.... Ali and other Muslims protested the hate crime on the first floor of the Agudas Achim building by holding signs denouncing the spray-painting. Members of the congregation took a symbolic step by painting over some of the swastikas and anti-Semitic phrases, including 'Kill the Jews' and 'White Power.' Later this month, graffiti cleaners from the city will come and wash away the graffiti.

The incident occurred Feb. 12 or early Feb. 13, said the congregation's leader, Philip Lefkowitz... Although most of the talk was about hope and embracing each other's differences, the hate crime that brought everyone together was discussed."