An act of antisemitic vandalism occurred in one of Tufts’ dorms on Saturday, according to an email sent to the Tufts community Wednesday night. The email was signed by University President Anthony Monaco.
According to the email, a Jewish student had discovered his mezuzah — an important Jewish symbol traditionally affixed to the doorposts of Jewish homes — removed from his doorpost.
“Regardless of intent, the removal of this important symbol of Jewish faith is antisemitic and has caused harm,” Monaco wrote in the email. “This is a moment from which we can all learn. All members of our community should feel comfortable displaying and expressing their faith, and all members of our community should respect those displays and expressions.”
Monaco said that Tufts University Police Department had launched an investigation into the incident but has not yet been able to identify the people or person responsible for the mezuzah’s removal.
He noted that the mezuzah’s removal comes amid a documented rise in antisemitism across the United States, within higher education and at Tufts itself. Monaco also reaffirmed the university’s commitment to understanding how to address antisemitism at Tufts.
“As I shared with faculty and staff in a town hall last week, we have launched an initiative to understand how antisemitism manifests itself at Tufts,” Monaco said. “This initiative includes focus groups and a survey of all undergraduate students that will go out next week.”