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August 2, 2021 4:28 pm

‘Cowardly’ Vandalism of Student’s Mezuzah at University of British Columbia Draws Condemnation

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia.

A leading Canadian Jewish group condemned a recent incident of vandalism of a Jewish student’s residence at the University of British Columbia.

On July 22, campus newspaper The Ubyssey reported, an unknown person vandalized the door of a seventh floor residence hall, “forcibly” removing from its post a mezuzah, the prayer scroll hung outside Jewish homes.

It was the “second time” such an incident had occurred, UBC said in an email to students, without specifying a prior case — adding that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s investigation of this latest incident is ongoing.

“Antisemitic behaviors and actions such as these are absolutely reprehensible,” it said.

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Responding to the news on Saturday, B’nai Brith Canada said, “We condemn the cowardly and vile act of antisemitic vandalism at [a] UBC student residence. Pleased that the University and [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] will diligently investigate this matter & ensure there are repercussions for this hate crime.”

Andrew Parr, Associate Vice President of Student Housing and Community Services, told The Ubyssey that his office takes the vandalizing of the mezuzah “very seriously.”

If the culprits were students, he said, “they will face significant repercussions — up to and including eviction.”

Continued Parr, “In consultation with the resident we shared information about this occurrence with others in their resident community to both shine a light on and reaffirm how unacceptable this type of activity is in our community and encourage reporting information that may aid the police investigation.”

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