The Conspiracy

Anti-Semitism at Indiana (and Elsewhere)

The vandalized menorah at Northwestern's Chabad

Note: This article has been edited to reflect a correction. At first the article mentioned vandalism of the Northwestern University Chabad’s property, implying in context that that vandalism was driven by anti-Semitism. Although initial reports of that incident in October claimed it to be anti-Semitic, police later confirmed that the vandalism was not driven by hate.

Anti-Semitic acts — and hate crimes against other religious groups — have occurred with greater frequency this year than in years past. Most recently, the Chabad House and Jewish Studies department were vandalized at Indiana University — the second time that Indiana has suffered anti-Semitism. At the University of Ottowa, meanwhile, someone stole and mangled the Jewish community’s Hanukkah menorah.

According to an article by the JTA covering the Indiana incident, the culprit — perhaps a bearded suspect in his 40s or 50s — threw a rock through the window of the Chabad House and broke the display case at the Jewish Studies program. The article also reported that several Jewish holy books had been removed from shelves in the school library, urinated on and left in the bathroom.

In a similar incident last spring, Muslim students at Brandeis found their campus worship space vandalized.

There have always been reports here and there of spray-painted swastikas and the like, but these acts seem more violent and destructive — and they are happening with more frequency on campuses. I can’t speculate as to why any of this has occurred, especially given Jewish student life at Indiana. Indiana is a large state school located in an area with a relatively low Jewish population. According to Hillel International’s website, Indiana has 4200 Jews — 14 percent of the population.

Look out for some original reporting and more coverage of this on New Voices in the near future.


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  1. Menorah at UF Vandalized « New Voices - December 6, 2010

    […] incident follows similar ones at Indiana University and the University of Ottowa. At Indiana, the Chabad House and Jewish studies department suffered vandalism, while at Ottowa […]

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