At least a dozen mezuzahs have reportedly been stolen from Jewish students at Indiana University since the High Holidays in September.
Residences in at least three different parts of the campus have also been targeted in recent months, and at least one student has been the subject of verbal harassment.
IU Hillel Director Rabbi Sue Laikin Silberberg said: “It became obvious very quickly that it wasn’t just vandalism, that it was much more than that, that it was targeted and directed specifically at the Jewish students. It’s like somebody just taking what’s so much a part of who you are and ripping it out. It is so important that we say we will not stand up for this.”
IU Hillel recently formed the Indiana University Antisemitism Task Force in response to the spate of thefts and desecration. The imitative is being supported by the Indiana University Dean of Students, Bias Response Team, and Office of Residential Programs and Services.
The Hillel also launched the ‘Mezuzah Project’, a campaign to give away free ritual prayer scrolls to Jewish students and free red solidarity mezuzah to non-Jewish students.