Skokie Jewish community holds vigil for those hurt in New York attack

Moved to draw attention to the horrific acts against Jews in New York, a rabbi in north suburban Skokie devoted time Sunday night talking about it openly. He said even in the Chicago area, nearly one thousand miles away, people are afraid and that’s why it was so important to be together right now.

It was a day of celebration, but after the attacks in New York, a sense of loss was ever present.

"I’m not naïve. Bad things happen, but good things happen every single day. Coming and being a part of this is being a part of the light,” said one woman who wished to be anonymous.

At Old Orchard Mall, members of the Skokie Valley Synagogue held a vigil to honor the New York victims.

“Because we cannot allow this hate to continue in our state or come to our state,” said Alison Pure-Slovin.

During the ceremony, Rabbi Ari Hart talked about what happened in New York saying.

“That the road where the synagogue, where the attack took place, the terrible stabbing, that on that road, they closed the road last night with barricades and police, and ambulances, you couldn’t get in," he said.

Jews were also gathered to gloriously mark the eighth night of Hanukkah, lighting the last candle of the menorah, but they’re doing so with caution.

“People are afraid. People are concerned and I think people need to feel that sense of togetherness with the whole Jewish community and feel a sense of strength that while there are people being targeted, we can respond in strength and in hope and in light and do that together,” said Rabbi Ari Hart.

One man is in custody on a $5-million bond. Police say he barged into a party at the home of a rabbi on the seventh night of Hanukkah in Monsey, New York, stabbing five people, and this comes after several other anti-semitic attacks have occurred elsewhere in the state of New York.

“It’s unacceptable what happens to Jews. It’s unacceptable what happens to Muslims, to African Americans, to any community that’s being targeted just on their identity,” said Rabbi Ari Hart.

On this last night of Hanukkah, which marks the struggle for religious freedom, Jews are pressing ahead in the hope that light will come from darkness.