Vandals paint graffiti on Jewish symbol in Daley Plaza

Vandals struck a Jewish symbol in the heart of Chicago, at the start of a Jewish holiday that's about peace and unity.

Rabbi Meir Chai Benhiyoun from Chabad Center for Jewish Life says someone spray painted graffiti on a sukkah in Daley Plaza. The sukkah is a hut in which Jewish people eat meals to celebrate God's protection during the week-long festival of Sukkot.

"It's a very happy holiday. It is actually called in the Torah, 'the season of rejoicing.' My community has seen this, and they're riled up to celebrate even more," said Rabbi Benhiyoun.

Over the weekend someone defaced the symbol of peace in Daley Plaza. Rabbi Benhiyoun says it’s the first time in 34 years anyone has harmed the sukkah.


Seeing the damage brought him to tears.

"I could cry because I was a counselor and rabbi for so many years. I feel bad for the people who did this. I don't know why they did it. Maybe they were just wasting time. But this is the middle of the city, the heart of downtown," Rabbi Benhiyoun said.

The Center for Jewish Life has since put signs on the structure, letting people know it's for a Jewish holiday.

"I don't know who did it. I don't know why they did it. But the fact that it happened is a new thing in the city and I think it should be addressed beyond just the police report," Rabbi Benhiyoun said.

The rabbi wants others celebrating Sukkot this week to be alert, in case this was an anti-Semitic act.