Why we didn't press charges

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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As Rabbi of West Suburban Temple Har Zion, I would like to clarify a point in the article published in the last edition of Wednesday Journal about an anti-Semitic incident at our synagogue on Sept. 30 [Local synagogues on alert following shooting, local threat, News, Nov. 7]. This incident occurred while a number of families, including my own, were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in the outdoor area of our building, next to Harlem Avenue. The perpetrator, named in the article, made some anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments and was verbally aggressive.

The police came and he was arrested. In the day following the arrest, as representative of the synagogue, I was interviewed by the state's attorney who was investigating whether to charge him with a hate crime. The article stated that we declined to press hate crime charges. In fact, the state's attorney advised us that hate crimes are notoriously difficult to prove and was not hopeful that we would be successful in this case. What we did demand of the district attorney and the police was that the perpetrator be kept away from our institution and other local Jewish organizations. The state's attorney and the police officer present agreed it was a reasonable demand.

Rabbi Adir Glick

West Suburban Temple Har Zion

River Forest

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