Statement From SWC Regarding Chicago Bus Incident
November 11, 2022
|:: Updated Statement From the Simon Wiesenthal Center - NOVEMBER 11, 2022 - 1:30pm PT ::
|Based on first reports, there were initial concerns this was an anti-Semitic incident, there was much confusion around the story as it unfolded. As the Simon Wiesenthal Center reviewed the facts as they emerged, it became clear that an incident occurred related to the bus as was confirmed by the Chicago police department.
But, it is now clear that the incident was not anti-Semitic as first reported. The Simon Wiesenthal Center agrees with that conclusion following the review of facts that emerged and after speaking to the school’s principal and other Jewish organizations.
| :: UPDATE - NOVEMBER 11, 2022 - 9:00am PT ::
When the Simon Wiesenthal Center went to press with the story and released the statement below, this was verified by two parents who filed police reports based on what their sons had experienced. In addition, the SWC spoke to two detectives and an officer in the police department who were investigating the students allegations. We were told this was a hate crime. Later in the day, the school released a statement refuting what the children had reported. The school is now saying that this was not an anti-Semitic incident.
NOVEMBER 10, 2022, CHICAGO - The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading global Jewish human rights NGO dedicated to imparting the lessons of the Nazi Holocaust and to combatting anti-Semitism, has expressed its alarm over an anti-Semitic hate crime that occurred in Chicago on November 9, 2022. A school bus was dropping off Jewish elementary students from a local Orthodox Jewish school, in the West Rogers Park neighborhood. At one stop, four men jumped onto the bus, hurled anti-Semitic slurs, and performed the Heil Hitler salute at terrorized children. Eventually, the bus driver succeeded in forcing the four attackers off the bus.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) has been in close contact with the Chicago Police Department and a number of the parents of the children affected by this frightening anti-Semitic encounter.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging anyone with information about the anti-Semitic incident to contact the Chicago PD or the Midwest offices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center,” said Alison Pure Slovin, SWC Midwest Director, adding, “This shocking incident took place on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom that destroyed almost all synagogues across Germany in 1938. Many members of the Jewish community have family who lived through those horrors.”
“The Chicago Commission on Human Relations reported that hate crimes targeting Jews are up 75% in the city of Chicago. But for our community, it is not just statistics, but the fear and anger such incidents generate,” Slovin added. She noted that members of the City Council of Chicago recently passed a resolution reaffirming their commitment to the Jewish community in the face of growing anti-Semitism.
For more information, please contact Alison Pure Slovin, Director, Midwest Region, Simon Wiesenthal Center at 708-714-0749 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS, and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO).