Oberlin College, a small liberal arts college in Ohio, says one of its professors — and his family — was the victim of an anti-Semitic hate crime this week in the college town.
According to police there in Oberlin, Benjamin Kuperman, an associate professor at the school and chair of its computer science department, was awoken at 3:30 am Thursday morning after hearing noises outside his family’s front door.
When Kuperman went to investigate, he found that sea shells on his porch had been smashed, and a note was left behind a mezuzah he had hung on his door.
The note had letters haphazardly glued on, which read:
“GAS JEWS DIE.”
A mezuzah is a piece of parchment that has verses from the Torah inscribed, and is often placed on the doorframe of homes of Jewish families — obviously a special and meaningful religious item that has been destroyed.
The college, horrified by the behavior, released a statement (below):
“As the General Faculty discussed yesterday, this is a moment of great stress and consternation, both nationally and locally. We will need each other’s continued compassion and support at this time; please take care of yourselves, your families, and your loved ones. As our community grieves for the loss of dignity and personal/physical safety that comes with these sorts of vile attacks, these events also can galvanize us in our resolve to fight bigotry and hatred wherever and whenever they occur.”
Ugh — so vile. Thankfully, the town’s police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Hopefully the perpetrator is caught — and even more, hopefully nobody is hurt and this doesn’t escalate to even worse levels.
[Image via WENN.]