Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

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The ultra-frum neighborhood where I grew up in Chicago has been subject to anti-Semitic graffiti and vandalism in the past week. Lincolnwood Jewish Congregation, Lubavitch Mesivta of Chicago, and Young Israel of West Rogers Park all had anti-Israel and some anti-Semitic slogans spray-painted on their buildings over the weekend, and some had windows smashed with bricks. The Orthodox high school I went to got what seemed to be a serious bomb threat on New Year’s Day.
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In response, the community has been holding rallies and probably doing a lot of soul searching about how this could possibly happen in our neighborhoods.

I wish I could say I got really upset when I heard about this, but I didn’t. This is politically incorrect, I know, but I’m totally unimpressed by graffiti and broken glass. This was the work of a couple of kids, and all it did, as far as I can tell, was bolster a sense of community for Jews in West Rogers Park. Everyone is now patting themselves on the back for defiance against anti-Semitism.

Vandalism is vandalism and whoever did this should be charged and convicted, but graffiti is not a threat to the community, and digging deeper into our victimization bunkers is no way to make lasting friendships.

Posted on January 12, 2009

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