"The very fact that we're a diverse country, which is our great strength, also presents a challenge when folks decide to pit people against each other," said Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle.
The campaign was spurred on by recent acts of anti-Semitism aimed at North Shore residents in recent weeks and months. In Glenview, in particular, many have received hate-filled flyers featuring the faces of Jewish elected officials.
"It was early Sunday morning and I was just getting my local paper," said Cook County 14th District Commissioner Scott Britton. "It spurred us to act the very opposite of what they wanted, which was to scare us off. We are now united against these hate groups and we're going to continue to work against them."
And while Jewish leaders acknowledge that anti-Semitic acts tend to increase when tensions flare up between Israelis and Palestinians, as they have now, they don't attribute what is going on locally to the current escalation of hostilities in the Middle East.
However, they said this feels more personal.
"When the hate comes, especially into my neighborhood, that is not only scary for me and my family and the congregation, but it brings it home," said Rabbi Lisa Bellows with Congregation Beth Am.