Burnt Mezuzah on Doorpost of University of California Hastings Law Student’s Dorm Room Called ‘Cowardly Act of Antisemitism’ by Chancellor
by Rachel Frommer
A San Francisco law student told The Algemeiner he was shocked this week to find the mezuzah on the doorpost of his dorm room partially burned.
“Nothing like this has ever happened before at University of California, Hastings (UC Hastings),” said the student — who wishes to remain anonymous on the grounds that “it’s about Jews in general, not just me” — referring to his discovery Monday morning that the bottom of his traditional Jewish scroll was damaged by what appeared to be a lighter, with the plastic cover holding the parchment blackened and slightly melted.
“Given the climate around the country — like the bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers — it’s not entirely unexpected, but you still don’t imagine it will happen to you,” he added.
UC Hastings Chancellor David Faigman sent a letter Wednesday morning to students, faculty and staff, calling the incident an apparent “cowardly act of antisemitism” and saying the university “will not tolerate hateful actions of any sort against members of our community.”
In response to the vandalism, representatives of the Jewish Law Students Association said it plans next week to distribute dozens of mezuzoth to Jewish students wishing to hang them up as a sign of solidarity. The student who was targeted said he sees this as “the perfect response.”
The incident — which the student suspects to have occurred on Sunday, during the Purim holiday — is being investigated as a possible antisemitic hate crime by local police, but authorities reportedly have no leads on the perpetrator.
This is not the first time that a mezuzah has been desecrated over the past year. As The Algemeiner reported in November, a Jewish associate professor at Ohio’s Oberlin College found a note reading “GAS JEWS DIE” attached to the one on the doorpost of his home.