Two Indiana University Jewish centers were attacked this week in what some believe to be incidents of anti-Semitism, reports the Indiana Daily Student.
A rock was thrown through the window of the off-campus Chabad House Jewish Center on Tuesday, and another rock was thrown into the Hillel Center sometime between Tuesday and Saturday, according to official reports. The attack on Chabad, which caused internal damage to the building, is being investigated by Bloomington Police, while the Hillel vandalism is being looked into by university police. The two departments plan on consulting to determine whether or not the attacks are related.
Chabad House president Alex Groysman told the Daily Student that he was shocked by the attacks:
After everything the center does to build understanding and friendly relations in the community, there are people out there that just want to destroy. By throwing that stone, that person was sending a message that they do not want us here, and that is something that is not OK.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Chabad House has been targeted - in October 2007, a beer bottle was thrown through the center's window. Later, the word "Jewish" was removed from an external sign identifying the religious center.
But campus leaders are taking the assault as an opportunity to strengthen their community and take a stance against hate. Chabad House co-director Rabbi Yehoshua Chincholker told the Chicago Tribune that he planned to incorporate the vandal's weapon, a limestone rock, into the base of a 12-foot menorah to be set up in front of the building this week.
Chincholker told the Daily Student that the menorah, a traditional candelabrum used during the Hanukkah celebrations, will represent "freedom of body and strength of spirit -- which are the rock and foundation of our land, our homes and our communities."
At this point, no suspects have been identified. Investigations remain ongoing.
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