Monday, September 13, 2021

Rash of antisemitic incidents in high schools and colleges

Graffiti on Canadian elementary school
last December

Right on the heels of a new report about antisemitism in colleges, there have been multiple reports of antisemitic incidents in colleges and even high schools just this past weekend.

Antisemitic graffiti was found in a men’s bathroom stall in the Lower Level of Anderson Hall by an American University student on Sept. 7.

Jason Churchfield, a senior in the School of International Service, found four symbols, three of them Nazi propaganda, carved into the stall. Churchfield promptly posted a picture to his Instagram story.

The graffiti consists of two swastikas, Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel) bolts and a Star of David. 

Jewish tradition holds that on Rosh HaShana our destiny for the coming year is written. For many Jewish DePaul students, who make up 4 percent of undergraduates, it has already been chosen for them – we are being written out of the community.

This year, the first day of classes for DePaul students landed on this deeply important day. Somewhat ironically, Rosh HaShanah is also the day of the Involvement Fair that centers around religious and cultural groups. The result is that many Jewish students who are interested in being involved Jewishly on campus, cannot attend the fair because they are observing the Jewish New Year.

What I want to know is how does imposing an ethical burden on Jewish students evoke the ideals of welcoming and inclusion and reject the very discrimination that President Esteban stands against? What does this decision forecast for the first year students as they embark on their journeys at DePaul?  And maybe most critically, are Jews welcome or merely tolerated at DePaul?
A local rabbi claims someone drew swastikas with the words “Hail Hitler” on a bathroom wall at Pope High School in Cobb County, GA.

“This is an attack on humanity, and it is important to understand that,” said Rabbi Larry Sernovitz, a Cobb parent and senior rabbi at Temple Kol Emeth in East Cobb.

The incident took place at the school during the high Jewish holidays.

School officials sent a letter home on Friday to parents, but it did not detail the swastikas or antisemitism. Instead, the letter explained that “Several students have defaced our beautiful school with hateful graffiti and also damaged our facilities.” Officials vowed that “Disturbing acts like what occurred this week have no place in our district or at our school and will not be tolerated.”