U of Illinois Chabad menorah vandalized for 3rd time within a year


(JTA) — A menorah outside the Chabad house at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was vandalized for the third time in 10 months.

The vandalism took place early Sunday morning outside the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, a surveillance video released by the University of Illinois Police Department shows, the Daily Illini student newspaper reported.

The video showed a man and a woman breaking an arm off the 9-foot menorah. The woman has been arrested, according to a Facebook post Monday night by Illini Chabad director Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel.

“Thank you all to the tremendous outpouring of love and concern. It’s heartwarming to see the strength of our entire community,” Tiechtel wrote in the post. “We must commit to not allow these things to happen on campus or anywhere, no matter in what state of mind, your actions count and matter.”

The menorah was repaired and rededicated in December following the previous two incidents of vandalism.

In August, a 20-year-old resident of Champaign, Illinois, where the university is located, was arrested for snapping the menorah off at its base. Max Kristy was not a student at the university and told the local newspaper the News-Gazette that he was drunk at the time of the incident and planned to take the menorah as a gift to a Jewish friend. He was not charged with a hate crime.

The menorah was similarly vandalized in April.

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