Arson attempt at Lakeview synagogue

Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel at 540 West Melrose. | Google

NEW 8:26PM: CPD has released quite a bit of new information. See our full update HERE.

NEW MONDAY 5:35AM: CPD has released an image of a suspect. See our latest post HERE.
Chicago police and the FBI are investigating after an apparent arson attempt was made at a Lakeview synagogue late Saturday night or early Sunday, according to CPD and a letter from Rabbi David Wolkenfeld of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel Congregation, 540 West Melrose. The building was not damaged, and no injuries were reported according to police and Wolkenfeld.

“The remains of several incendiary devices were found on the perimeter of our shul,” Wolkenfeld wrote. Security footage “revealed that an individual entered the shul parking lot shortly after midnight and attempted to commit an act of arson.”

Three broken glass bottles that contained an unknown substance were recovered along with charred black cloth towels, according to Chicago police.

Detectives from Area North and CPD’s arson unit were on-scene for several hours Sunday collecting evidence and reviewing surveillance footage.

Wolkenfeld said, “the police are not aware of any specific threat targeting our building or community.”

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is