Dear Jewish Community Members,
I wish to update you on a concerning incident of antisemitism, and also to praise the university for its swift and proactive response to this event.
A UC Hastings student returned from spring break to discover that the mezuzah on the doorframe of his Hastings Tower campus housing had been partially burned. The student was understandably disturbed and upset by this act of antisemitic desecration. Since learning about the incident, SF Hillel has been working with the student, the Hastings Jewish Law Student Association, the ADL and campus administration to address it and provide support.
We wish to praise Chancellor David Faigman, the university police, and the university administration for immediately and proactively launching an investigation into this incident. We also wish to recognize Chancellor Faigman for issuing a prompt, campus-wide statement unequivocally condemning what he called a "profoundly disturbing incident" and a "cowardly act of anti-Semitism." We support his strong denouncement of "hateful acts of any sort" and re-affirmed Hastings' dedication to "principals of diversity and inclusion."
This exemplary university leadership in the face of a disturbing act of antisemitism is very important to deter potential future acts. It sends an unequivocal signal that Jewish students are a valued part of the campus community, and recognizes that - in Chancellor Faigman's words - all members of the Hastings "community have a right to a safe educational environment."
Ironically, in some ways Jewish student life has never been stronger across San Francisco, and the recently revitalized Hastings Jewish Law Student Association continues to be a model example of that student-driven growth in Jewish campus community.
But particularly given the rise of antisemitism on campuses in our region and in U.S. society generally, it is vitally important that we have strong university partners to ensure our campuses continue to be safe and inclusive environments for Jewish students.