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December 8, 2015 7:12 pm

Public Chanukah Menorah Lighting Scheduled at Rowan University in Response to Antisemitic Graffiti

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A dorm at Rowan University, New Jersey. Photo: Wikipedia

A dorm at Rowan University, New Jersey. Photo: Wikipedia

The Chabad Jewish Center at New Jersey’s Rowan University announced their first ever public menorah lighting on Tuesday night, in response to antisemitic graffiti discovered carved into one of the campus dormitories late last week.

“We refuse to be intimidated or frightened, in fact we will use this incident as a motivation to increase the light and expand our programming for Jewish students on campus,” said Rabbi Hersh Loschak in a statement. “Our historic first ever public menorah lighting will take place tonight (December 8) at 7 pm at the Rowan student center patio. We invite everyone to attend as a sign of Jewish pride, solidarity, and as a statement of defiance in the face of hatred and bigotry.”

“It is important to clearly state that the sort of bias and hate that this type of incident represents are completely inconsistent with Rowan’s values. Members of our community should be safe from hate in all areas of the campus, from the residence halls to the classrooms,” said Loschak in a statement on Tuesday.

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Dean of Students Richard Jones identified the swastikas carved into the Chestnut Hall dorm as antisemitism and offensive to several different groups. Chestnut Hall does not currently house any Jewish residents.

Officials at the Glassboro school met with students in the dorm to discuss the incident and try to gather information about who may be responsible. In his statement, Jones asked for any information regarding who may be behind the antisemitic graffiti.

“It is important to clearly state that the sort of bias and hate that this type of incident represents are completely inconsistent with Rowan’s values. Members of our community should be safe from hate in all areas of the campus, from the residence halls to the classrooms,” said Jones.

About three weeks ago, Nazi and antisemitic stickers, and other messages calling for an Israel boycott, were discovered at the University of Central Florida, which itself followed an incident in April at the school in which swastikas were discovered carved into a Jewish student’s apartment. Jewish groups have expressed concern with the rising number of antisemitic incidents reported on US campuses.

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