Hanukkah takes on added significance for the Jewish community in Bloomington.
Police there are investigating five acts of what they call anti-semitic vandalism in the past week.
The Hillel House is one of the centers targeted by vandals. It is a meeting place on the campus of Indiana University. Tonight, many are gathering at Hillel House to celebrate the first of eight nights of Hanukkah.
On the first day of a festival that marks the triumph of good over evil, members of the Jewish community in Bloomington are struggling to overcome the malicious attack.
"There was a rock thrown in the kitchen," asked puzzled IU student Shelli Goldzband.
Goldzband just learned about the five acts of vandalism targeting Jewish facilities in the past week.
Police say someone threw rocks into windows --and damaged Hebrew books at the library in the Hillel House, where Goldzband volunteers each week.
"I'm really sad, just really sad," said Goldzband.
"Why would anyone raise a hand to someone who's done no harm to you," asked Yehohsua Chincholker of the Chabad House.
The Chabad house was twice targeted, most recently Tuesday morning, when someone threw a rock into an upstairs window shared by three women, none of them Jewish.
"They didn't know we weren't Jewish but knew someone was here and the light was on," said one of the girls.
The rash of attacks has the entire Bloomington campus on alert. Wednesday, the Indiana University family received an email from the school saying, " the university condemns the criminal acts of vandalism in our community."
"We take this very seriously," said Provost Karen Hanson.
Police are also taking these cases seriously, stepping up patrols and aggressively searching for a suspect.
"If it means federal charges, we'll certainly pursue it that way," said IUPD Chief Keith Cash.
During this season of lights, there is hope that the person responsible will come to light and good will once again triumph over evil.
Police say they have a person of interest in mind. Witnesses described a white man in his 40s. However, detectives have not identified anyone as a suspect.
At the Hillel house, they will continue to go about their business, which includes lighting the first candle of the season to celebrate Hanukkah.
From WISH News 8 (Indiana):
Hebrew-related books were reported vandalized Saturday at the Wells Library. The books were removed from shelves and taken to restrooms on different floors, where the vandals urinated on them.
We have to brace ourselves for Jewish extremists, who seem to mostly live in the West Bank, to start rampaging, rioting and issuing Jewish legal rulings calling for Americans worldwide to be killed because of the possible desecration of holy books by someone in America.
Because, from what I've read in the media, that's what extremists do, and extremists from all religions are equally immoral.