Vandals target Jewish centre on Illinois campus

The damage to the menorah (Photo: Zoe Fox / North by Northwestern)

The damage to the menorah (Photo: Zoe Fox / North by Northwestern)

A Chabad house at a prestigious American university has been vandalised.

Attackers broke the bulbs and one branch of a statue of a menorah outside the Jewish centre, which serves students at the Northwestern University campus in Illinois.

Local police said they were viewing the incident as a hate crime and investigating what happened.

The Chabad director, Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein, told the student newspaper that the vandalism reinforced “the need to educate people on the importance of different religious symbols.”

Jewish student Coco Keevan said: “While it is unclear whether or not it was merely a Halloween prank, it does seem to bring the threat close to home”.

The house was targeted on Saturday night, as Jewish organisations around the United States were warned to increase security in the wake of the attempted bombing of two Chicago synagogues.

President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, studied at the university, as did the writer Saul Bellow.

    Last updated: 2:35pm, November 2 2010