Officials say an individual made anti-Semitic remarks and falsely claimed to have planted a bomb in the parking lot of a synagogue in Highland Park Friday afternoon.
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El said the incident occurred around 2:10 p.m. Friday.
An individual called Beth El, located at 1175 Sheridan Road in Highland Park, and made anti-Semitic remarks, according to a statement from leadership.
The individual also claimed there was a bomb planted in the parking lot of the synagogue.
The Beth El employee who received the call recorded the call using security features on the phone system and immediately called 911.
Staff members were evacuated but no congregants were inside.
The Highland Park Police Department responded, secured the area and did a full visual inspection inside and outside.
Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Kilpatrick and Canine Boomer were called to the scene to conduct a search of the premise, the sheriff’s office said.
Village officials said Sheridan Road was closed between Cedar and Ravinoaks to facilitate the investigation. The roadway was reopened by 3:30 p.m.
“Nothing of any concern was found and the nature of the call highly suggests that this was an attempt to scare. In addition, we were informed by Secure Community Network that an almost identical call was made to a synagogue in Michigan,” North Suburban Synagogue Beth El said.
The staff was able to return to the building and were cleared to proceed as normal by authorities.
“We are grateful for the wonderful community in which we live that has provided such immediate and expert support. While we acknowledge that incidents such as these are frightening, we will not let them deter us from celebrating our religious traditions. For those who are able to join, we will see you tonight at Friday night services or tomorrow for Shabbat morning services,” the synagogue said in the statement.
The Highland Park Police Department said they have put all places of worship in the community on extra watch.
Police believe the phone call was a pre-recorded message and further investigation is ongoing.