Philadelphia Students Gather to Denounce Antisemitism

( – Students, religious leaders, and lawmakers from both parties joined forces on December 10 at a temple in Philadelphia to denounce the rise of antisemitism in their communities and numerous college campuses across the United States. The gathering at the Rodeph Shalom Congregation happened after University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill announced her resignation on December 9.

The decision came after receiving widespread criticism over a testimony she delivered at a congressional hearing, where she refused to say that the calls for a Jewish genocide on campus violated the school’s conduct policy. Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth and Harvard President Claudine Gay also delivered testimony at the congressional hearing. Both of them also received criticism for delivering lawyerly answers on the same topic.

At the event, Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Josh Shapiro said he has seen many Pennsylvanians taking “big and small” actions to combat antisemitism in the state. He added that people need to hear the “brave” voices of students who are making efforts to hold the “halls of power” at the University of Pennsylvania accountable. Shapiro added there’s no place for antisemitism or any other type of discrimination in the state.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey Jr. also expressed his support for those who are taking these actions against the academic institution. Most of the students who were part of the event were from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

UPenn’s sophomore Eitan Linhart said at the event that she has witnessed a “dangerous” rise of antisemitism on campus, and cited a Jewish fraternity being vandalized with a graffiti that compared Jews to Nazis. She also said that the situation has gotten so out of control that many of her Jewish friends are “terrified” and some of them are no longer wearing yarmulkes. Linhart pointed out that the worst and most surprising aspect of antisemitism on campuses and in some communities is “not the hatred” but the “indifference” of many.

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