WEST ROGERS PARK — Anti-Semitic graffiti painted on a synagogue and 30 garages in West Rogers Park and Avondale provoked a strong response from the Jewish community Monday.
The Jewish United Fund said in a statement that the vandalism "not only defaced buildings, but also our city's spirit of openness and diversity."
"It is always a tragedy when any religious or ethnic group is targeted," the statement said. "At a time of heightened turmoil in the Middle East and mounting anti-Semitic violence around the world, we are deeply saddened by this reminder that sometimes we face hate right here in our own backyard."
The graffiti was discovered Sunday morning on Congregation Atereth Yehoshua in the 2900 block of West Touhy Avenue, according to police. Six of the tags, which police believe were connected, included disparaging language referring to Jews, police said.
Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) said Chicago Police Department's hate crimes unit was investigating. Additional units are being deployed to the affected areas in an effort to apprehend the suspects, she said in an email to constituents.
Rogers Park Police District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera said in an email distributed to CAPS facilitators that 22 of the vandalized garages were located in the 5700 and 5800 blocks of Talman Avenue, while 12 of the garages were located near the synagogue on Estes and Greenleaf avenues.
He said black spray paint was used in all the incidents. The graffiti tagger moniker "REX," "REX NATION or "RN" were also used. Several of the tags included a "crudely drawn" and "smiling" Tyrannosaurus rex," Waldera said.
No arrests have been made, police said.
Some neighbors took to social media website EveryBlock to raise awareness that the perpetrators had not been caught. They also posted photos of the graffiti.
One of the tags reads "F--- Yall Jews. [sic]".
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