Thursday, November 18, 2021

  • Thursday, November 18, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Vandalized mezuzah case at Northeastern U Hillel in October; the parchment was stolen



WTHR (Indianapolis) reports:

Starting in September, around Jewish High Holy Days, IU [Indiana University]  had at least a dozen reports of sacred religious symbols, mezuzahs, stolen from dormitory doors. The mezuzah is an enclosed prayer scroll put on a doorframe, that identifies a home as Jewish and indicates God's protection.

Rabbi Sue Silberberg, the executive director at IU Hillel, said in her 31 years working at the university, IU has always been known as welcoming, with very few incidents of hate.

But she's seen a recent rise in antisemitism across the country and at IU.

The Briscoe, McNutt and Forest quads were all hit in the past month or two. One student, Silberberg said, was verbally harassed, too, by girls on her floor. Some students had their mezuzah stolen multiple times.

"It was taken and she put it back up. It was ripped down at least another two times, and then, someone else on her floor had their mezuzah ripped down. Then, it spread to another residence hall and a third residence hall," Silberberg said.
This is only the latest of a string of mezuzah thefts and vandalizations on campuses in North America.

Earlier this month, a mezuzah was stolen and damaged at George Washington University.


Two mezuzot were ripped down from students' doorposts at Tufts University during September in separate incidents.

It happened twice at the University of British Columbia, most recently in August.

There have been incidents in the past of this kind of vandalism, but not as many as we are seeing this year. 

Studies have noted that antisemitic incidents on campus correlate with anti-Israel activities. Without anyone catching the vandals, though, we don't know if this is prompted by classic or modern antisemitism.










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