Attempted Act of Arson Reported in Lakeview Synagogue: Police

"Attacks of this sort are intended to frighten and intimidate us and it is quite natural to feel fear or anxiety"

An attempted act of arson was reported at the Anshe Shalom B’nai Israel Congregation this weekend in Chicago’s Lakeview community area, authorities said.

The incident reportedly happened at the 500 block of West Melrose St. between 9 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.

Officials said reports included three broken glass bottles that were recovered, which contained an “unknown substance,” along with charred black cloth towels.

"Attacks of this sort are intended to frighten and intimidate us and it is quite natural to feel fear or anxiety," read a Facebook post published on the synagogue's page. "I encourage you to practice self-care and monitor your own feelings and those of your family."

No injuries were reported, police said, and no damage was done to the buildings.

After the incidents, Chicago Police Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio has ordered stepped up patrols and other safety measures near Jewish businesses and synagogues in the city. 

"Detectives are investigating and have good video evidence," spokesman Anthony Gugliemi said in a statement. "Info can be sent anonymously to" 

Guglielmi later added that "detectives are also investigating a pattern of cars with windows smashed outside of synogogues in the 24th Rogers Park District. We have different suspects in both incidents."

It remained unclear if there were ties between the incidents. 

In a statement, the Jewish Community Relations Council thanked Chicago police for their response in the case, and condemned the acts as "antisemitic." 

"The attempted arsons this weekend at two Jewish facilities are the latest antisemitic attacks against Jewish individuals and institutions in the US and abroad," the group said. "Thanks to CPD for pursuing the culprits and helping secure our community." 

Arson Unit and Area North Detectives were investigating the case.

No other information was immediately known.

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