Tuesday, February 28, 2017 03:55 PM
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ira I. Silverstein of Chicago believes communities and their leaders must speak up to condemn the recent wave of anti-Semitic events in Illinois and across the country.
“I have filed a resolution asking the Illinois Senate to join me in denouncing those who have made bomb threats, desecrated Jewish cemeteries and vandalized synagogues,” Silverstein said. “These events are obvious attempts to incite fear and disrupt daily life in peaceful communities.”
Senate Resolution 225 describes criminal actions taken against an increasing number of Jewish institutions. The Loop Synagogue in Chicago was vandalized in early February with broken windows and graffiti that included swastikas and a bomb threat was made to the Hyde Park Jewish Community Center.
The Hyde Park center was one of dozens of centers in cities across the nation that received bomb threats since the first of the year.
Vandals have toppled and damaged headstones in Jewish cemeteries: first, near St. Louis, Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery which dates back to the late 1800s was vandalized over the President’s Day weekend with more than 150 stones violated. One week later, the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in northeastern Philadelphia was vandalized with as many as 500 headstones knocked over or harmed.
“Cemeteries are sacred ground, and it is painful for families to see the tombstones of their loved ones violated,” Silverstein said. “Defiling a Jewish cemetery is an attack on the culture and has been a historically bold, anti-Semitic act of bigotry.”
“In spite of these actions, Americans have always risen together to resist against hate and intimidation,” Silverstein continued. “We in Illinois must stand united and work for peace and acceptance of all races, religions and nationalities.”
Senator Silverstein asked his colleagues to co-sponsor his resolution.