UMass chancellor condemns vandalism at Hillel House

  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst campus COURTESY PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/21/2020 5:02:23 PM

AMHERST — Graffiti sprayed on the front of the Hillel House at the University of Massachusetts, discovered Tuesday morning, is being condemned as a “brazen act of anti-Semitism” by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.

“The timing of this cowardly act, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, is deeply repugnant,” Subbaswamy wrote in a letter to the campus community. “In this period of global crisis, it is more important than ever that we reject hatred and intolerance.”

Subbaswamy went on to express support for the Jewish students, faculty and staff that help to make UMass a special place.

“The hateful actions of any individual cannot change that, and will, in fact, strengthen our resolve to stand in solidarity with the members of our Jewish community,” Subbaswamy writes.

Because the building at 388 North Pleasant St. is considered off campus, Amherst Police were contacted about the damage at 6:45 a.m. UMass Police will offer assistance to the investigation.

In a letter posted to its website, representatives from Hillel House describe the graffiti as the word “Palestine” being written in Arabic in large red letters. The Hillel House serves as a center of Jewish life at UMass Amherst, where students are able to participate in numerous social events and community service activities.

“Our UMass Jewish community is resilient and strong, and in the face of this hate we will only deepen our commitment to empowering students to build vibrant community based on values of love, respect, justice and peace,” the letter states.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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