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May 3, 2022 4:01 pm
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Jewish Fraternity Calls on Rutgers to Address ‘Antisemitism Problem’ on Campus

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avatar by Dion J. Pierre

View of Rutgers University from College Avenue. Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons.

A Jewish fraternity at Rutgers University has called on administrators to devise a concrete plan to address antisemitism on campus following the egging of its house and harassment of its members, a campus newspaper reported on Monday.

On April 27, the last day of Passover, a caravan of participants from a Students for Justice in Palestine rally drove to the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) house, shouting antisemitic insults and spitting in the direction of fraternity members.

Separately, four days later, the house was discovered to have been egged during a 24-hour reading of the names of Holocaust victims ahead of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance day — the second consecutive year that the memorial event was so disturbed.

“AEPi has been targeted for two years in a row by getting egged on its national Holocaust memorial day event, where brothers read the names of Holocaust victims murdered,” AEPi told The Daily Targum in a statement. “People throwing eggs at the house, especially at that time for two years in a row, proves that Rutgers has an antisemitism problem which puts the Jewish population of the university at risk.”

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AEPi also told the outlet that antisemitism is so prevalent on campus that members are reluctant to wear items, such as the Star of David, that would identify their faith. The group urged the university to create educational programs to foster tolerance, the Targum reported.

Students for Justice in Palestine Rutgers-New Brunswick shared with The Algemeiner a statement on Friday denying that its members participated in either the harassment of AEPi members or the vandalism of its house. “Efforts to conflate the actions of lone individuals with an entire community and organization are only meant to further antagonize anti-Palestinian racism and Islamophobia and restrict free speech in university settings,” the student group said.

It also accused AEPi of inciting the April 27 confrontation — a claim that AEPi disavowed to the Targum, pointing to video footage of the incident it has published.

Rutgers University did not respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment in time for publication.

AEPi’s annual Yom HaShoah ceremony, “Unto Every Person There is a Name,” was this year dedicated in part to Jewish refugees from the war in Ukraine, as well as the memory of Holocaust victims, AEPi had announced.

“In light of recent antisemitic events directed towards our Fraternity house, the Rho Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi has decided to turn this event into a fundraiser to support Holocaust education as well as Jewish Ukrainian Refugees,” the fraternity said. “The Brothers of AEPi want to show that we are not intimated by antisemitism and will use this as a way to raise money and awareness for Jewish causes alike.”

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