(October 28, 2019 / JNS) Eight swastikas have been found on the campus of Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
Students at the prominent all-women’s academic institution discovered at least one swastika on an academic building. Law enforcement then inspected the entire campus and saw at least eight swastikas drawn with markers on three separate buildings.
The vandalism was removed by staff on Friday, Smith spokesperson Stacey Schmeidel told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
College president Kathleen McCartney, in an email to students on Friday evening, condemned the incidents as exemplifying “hatred and cowardice.”
An investigation is underway.
Nearly 200 students, faculty and staff members held a community meeting that featured several Jewish student leaders as speakers. An estimated 150 to 200 students (some 2 percent) enrolled are Jewish out of a student body of about 2,500 undergraduates.
Smith does not have a Hillel on campus. There is a campus Chabad at the Five Colleges, directed by Rabbi Shmuel and Ariel Kravitsky.
“People are really upset,” said the rabbi. “It’s unprecedented in a small school and community like this.”
Kravitsky added that plans are in the works for a challah bake open to all, as well as a Torah-portion class and Shabbat candle-lightings to combat such darkness.
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