U of Illinois Chabad menorah vandalized again


(JTA) — The menorah in front of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign was vandalized for the fourth time in two years.

Security cameras caught two people pushing a shopping cart walking by the Chabad center on the southern Illinois campus on Friday night trying to move the entire 9-foot menorah, then breaking off a branch and walking off with it.

The broken branch was returned Sunday morning, according to the local newspaper, the News-Gazette.

The university’s Chabad director, Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, said the center is working with an architect to design a steel menorah that hopefully will be up by Hanukkah in December.

In August 2015, a 20-year-old resident of Champaign, 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 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 2015, and a branch was snapped off in February 2016.

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