String of antisemitic hate crimes hit University of Denver

By Duncan Luning

Three Jewish students at the University of Denver were targeted in a slew of antisemitic acts from February 9-12. StandWithUs, a nonprofit Israel education organization, stated that these incidents “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.”

Ethan G, a Jewish student at DU, stated “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.”

The University of Denver put out a statement in response to these examples of antisemitism saying that “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.”

These incidents are adding to the already growing rate of antisemitism in Colorado. According to the Anti-Defamation League, there have been at least 47 reports of antisemitism. Since 2017, there has been a 61% increase in these reports in Colorado. 

The University of Denver Hillel, a Jewish Campus Life organization, also put out a statement saying “DU Hillel is here for students to be heard and supported as we lead conversations with allies to assure students feel safe now and in the future. Stand up for your Jewish friends and do not be a bystander.”

Rabbi Avraham Mintz, the executive director at the Chabad Jewish Center of South Metro Denver, put out a statement on Wednesday.

“We are deeply disturbed by the recent events at DU and are hopeful the authorities will handle this expeditiously.

We have seen a broad show of support and unity from all across the community and beyond.

When the forces of light and good encounter darkness and hate, without fail light will always prevail.

I encourage all people of goodwill to act in goodness and kindness, to those around you – and to people you may have never met.

The fact the G-d created each of us, means that we each, no matter race or creed, are extremely important and we each have a unique purpose in this world, that no one else can fill.

When we recognize that, we will come to appreciate the immense importance and value of each and every individual – especially if they are different from us.”

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About the Author:

Duncan Luning is Campfire Colorado’s Capitol Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @DuncanLuning.