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October 10, 2017 12:50 pm

Sukkah Destroyed at Kansas State University, Antisemitic Vandalism Suspected

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Kansas State University. Photo: KSU Communicators.

Update: The Kansas State University police department completed its investigation of the incident following publication of this article, and concluded that the Sukkah was destroyed by severe weather, not vandalism.

A Sukkah erected at Kansas State University (KSU) for use by Jewish community members was destroyed on Friday night in an apparent act of antisemitic vandalism.

The sukkah — a temporary dwelling place used by Jews during the eight-day holiday of Sukkot — was first assembled on October 3rd by the Jewish campus group Hillel and KSU’s Department of Housing and Dining Services outside a residential complex at the university.

Three days later, Glen Buickerood — a graduate student at KSU who helped organize the Sukkot initiative — saw that the structure was gone.

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“When I walked past the Sukkah to my car, I noticed something horrible,” Buickerood wrote in an email to campus leaders, which was obtained by The Algemeiner. “The chairs and tables stood where the Sukkah had been. The stakes were still in the ground. Stakes that had been tied to the Sukkah had been pulled out.”

The sukkah was found 40 yards away from its original location, wrapped around Buickerood’s car.

“I believe a group of individuals recognized that the Sukkah was affiliated with Judaism and the Sukkot holiday,” Buickerood said. “This was a direct response to what the Sukkah stands for and represents.”

In its own statement condemning the incident on Monday, Hillel International called the “anti-Semitic vandalism .. hurtful and disrespectful to those who have come together to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot.”

KSU’s police department has launched an investigation into the matter, which a representative told The Algemeiner on Monday was still ongoing.

“I want to emphasize how deeply concerned the K-State family is about this incident,” KSU President Richard Myers stated on behalf of the university on Monday. “Many who live or work on our campuses, particularly those of the Jewish community, are experiencing significant pain and fear as a result of this act.”

The damaged sukkah was rebuilt on Sunday morning. A Sukkot Solidarity Dinner is scheduled to take place at KSU this Wednesday in response to the vandalism, the latest in a string of incidents that have raised concerns on campus.

In September, flyers with white supremacist messages were found at the university, while an antisemitic poster was discovered on Holocaust Remembrance Day in April.

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