Synagogue services go on as planned after bomb threat in Highland Park

Updated 3/18/2022 6:54 PM

Shabbat services were held as planned by a Highland Park synagogue Friday just hours after it received an antisemitic phone call and a bomb threat.

On a Facebook post, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Road, informed congregants that about 2:10 p.m. "an individual called Beth El making antisemitic remarks and claiming there was a bomb planted in our parking lot."


In the post, the synagogue said the employee who received the call, "using her training and presence of mind, recorded the call using security features of our phone system and immediately contacted 911."

The synagogue said no congregants were in the building at the time, while staff members who were there evacuated immediately.

Highland Park police and the Lake County sheriff's office's explosive detection dog, Boomer, searched the synagogue and accompanying school.

The synagogue said nothing of any concern was found, while "the nature of the call highly suggests that this was an attempt to scare."

"Our wonderful friends at the Highland Park Police Department have assured us that they will be present for services during Shabbat to supplement our own armed security service personnel who will be there as usual," the synagogue said. "the Highland Park police will increase patrols of our property, as well.

"While we acknowledge that incidents such as these are frightening, we will not let them deter us from celebrating our religious traditions."

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