In response to a series of antisemitic incidents at Indiana University (IU), hundreds of mezuzahs have been placed across the campus in solidarity with Jewish students.
The mezuzahs have been placed on entrances around the university by IU Hillel and say on them “I stand with my Jewish friends.”
The mezuzahs are a response to a serious increase in antisemitic incidents at IU since last fall, when four mezuzahs were torn down from Jewish students’ dorm room doors.
"The mezuzah is so significant for college students because when they come to campus, it's the first time they're creating a Jewish home, the first time they get to make that choice," IU Hillel executive director Sue Silberberg told News atIU Bloomington. "Unfortunately today, it also carries some risk because of antisemitism, so it's been really meaningful and important to Jewish students to see the mezuzahs on campus."
According to Silberberg, several hundred mezuzahs have been place alongside pamphlets explaining to non-Jewish students their religious significance.
They also joined with the student union (the Indiana Memorial Union) and the Union Board to place mezuzahs in Union doorways next to a sign that says, “There is no place for hate in our community.”
The campaign has received support from many student leaders.
"Campus bodies who are in place to represent student interests are not letting antisemitism go unaddressed," Union Board president Diptanshu Rao told the news outlet. "We want students to see the mezuzahs and say, 'Here is a place I can feel comfortable in my identity as a Jew' and not feel attacked or hated."
The university has had longstanding issues with antisemitic incidents.
In December 2019, three Jewish IU students trying to enter a fraternity party were physically assaulted and subjected to antisemitic slurs by members of the fraternity.
The assault followed an anonymous antisemitic online post the previous year that said a “bunch of hairy stinky rude obnoxious Jews” were overtaking the Indiana University campus.
In 2017, white supremacist flyers were plastered around campus, with the university contacting the FBI.