(Denver, CO – February 14, 2023) – StandWithUs is appalled by abhorrent attacks targeting the dorm rooms of three Jewish students at the University of Denver. The incidents, which occurred between February 9 – 12, included pork left on the doorstep and smeared on the dorm room door of one Jewish student and mezuzahs ripped off the doorways of the rooms of two other Jewish students. The sacred scrolls in the Mezuzahs were tampered with, one of which was destroyed. The students are all identifiable Jews or Jewish leaders on campus.
While mezuzah vandalism is on the rise throughout the United States, StandWithUs is particularly shocked by the personal, religious nature of these attacks, which all included targeting aspects of Jewish religious custom (e..g., the sacred mezuzah scrolls that are affixed to Jewish doorposts and the Jewish religious prohibition against eating pork).
StandWithUs applauds the courageous students who were the victims of these heinous antisemitic hate crimes and are seeking justice. We thank and commend them for approaching StandWithUs and the university administration to hold the perpetrators accountable.
We thank the University of Denver for condemning these incidents and launching a full and prompt investigation into this matter. We request that any students found to be involved are held accountable to the fullest extent under university policy and the law. We also call on the university to provide protection for Jewish students by hosting education about antisemitism; and we urge them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism in order to provide the administration with a framework for identifying future antisemitic acts.
"As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, I am shocked and horrified by the religious nature of these antisemitic assaults taking place in 2023. It is no coincidence that the rise in anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish rhetoric and campaigns on campus have contributed to a rise in antisemitic incidents targeting Jewish students. University administrators must recognize this problem and address antisemitism on their campuses swiftly and seriously,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. “While members of the University of Denver’s Jewish community are hurting with the recent incidents of bigotry against Jews on our campus, these attacks have only made us stronger and brought us closer together,” said Ethan G., a University of Denver Jewish Student. “We are asking the University of Denver to continue to stand by its Jewish community, including by investigating these incidents and applying appropriate measures against the perpetrators. Taking these antisemitic hate crimes seriously will help prevent anything like this from happening again.” StandWithUs is proud and inspired by the courage demonstrated by Jewish students at the University of Denver as they face attacks on their Jewish identity. We will continue to work with our partners within the administration and faculty, at the University of Denver Hillel, and at Chabad at DU to support Jewish students as they combat antisemitism and celebrate their Jewish identity on campus.
February 13, 2023 Dear DU Students: In the past few days, our residential communities have experienced three acts of antisemitic vandalism. As some of you may have heard, early last Thursday, a Johnson-MacFarlane resident’s door was vandalized; and yesterday evening, two residents from the Nagel Hall reported that their doors were vandalized and religious items were removed over the weekend. The University has provided a range of supports to directly affected students and continues to investigate these incidents. If you have information about any of these incidents, please share it with the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX (EOIX) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by filing a report through their online reporting form. You can find more information about the Equal Opportunity office, and relevant policies and procedures at www.du.edu/equalopportunity. We want to be very clear that these acts are NOT acceptable within DU’s community, and acknowledge the harm that has been caused to members of our community. Every student, faculty, and staff member deserves a place to live, learn, and work that is respectful, welcoming, and safe. Each of us shares the responsibility to foster that environment through our actions. We each have commitments to make. Importantly, we call on our community members to be accountable for our community. This means holding oneself and one’s community responsible when harm is caused, seeking ways to prevent harmful acts from occurring in the future, as well as engaging in campus life, including cultural and educational opportunities, to make connections across the DU campus. As we continue working with all involved, below are some resources to educate, support, and engage our community: · Hillel and Chabad supporting Jewish student life at the DU community · What is antisemitism? www.ushmm.org/antisemitism/what-is-antisemitism · Individual and group support is available through the Health & Counseling Center (HCC): www.du.edu/health · Student Outreach & Support: https://crimsonconnect.du.edu/click?linkid=eba92cfa-010d-4976-ad0f-da6a3907b678 · Get involved on campus: https://crimsonconnect.du.edu If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to your Dean of Students office: https://crimsonconnect.du.edu/click?linkid=8c3426f4-2828-4d70-ad53-d6ddb6f7323c Sincerely, Todd Adams, Vice Chancellor Student Affairs & Inclusive Excellence University of Denver Student Affairs and Inclusive Excellence 2055 E. Evans Ave Denver, Colorado 80208 United States
About StandWithUs StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, nonprofit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada, South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands. For the last eleven years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator and Guidestar, two charity watchdog groups that assess hundreds of thousands of charities in the United States.