‘More than a prank’ – Jewish frat house targeted by shellfish dump

AEPi chapter president describes “absolutely disgusting” discovery of crayfish thrown through open window, scattered throughout frat house’s yard.

By World Israel News Staff

Members of a Jewish fraternity at the University of California Berkeley are urging local police to investigate the vandalism of their house as a hate crime, after unknown perpetrators dumped large amounts of shellfish through an open window and across the yard of their property.

Residents of a home owned by the Jewish Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) fraternity awoke on Saturday morning to shellfish – a category of food specifically forbidden under Jewish dietary law – inside and around the property.

“We go outside, we saw crayfish had been thrown all over our deck, all over the side driveway, through the windows into someone’s room and scattered all around the backyard,” Jadon Gershon-Friedberg, a UC Berkeley senior and the AEPi chapter president, told J. The Jewish News of California.

“We found claws by the side of the house and by the door. We found a fish tail and head in someone’s room,” he said. “It was absolutely disgusting.” He told J. that at least eight of the house’s residents keep kosher.

Gershon-Friedberg stressed that he feels the incident was “more than just a prank,” noting that nearby non-Jewish fraternity houses had not been similarly targeted.

“Everyone is still a little shaken up,” he added. “This is our home.”

AEPi’s senior administration sent a cleaning crew to remove the shellfish from the house and power-wash the deck and yard.

“By singling out AEPi, the Jewish fraternity, and deliberately employing non-kosher food, this act of vandalism goes far beyond destruction; it represents a calculated decision to target Jewish students within our campus community,” the UC Berkeley branch of AEPi said in a statement.

Berkeley Police Department told J. that the incident is currently the subject of an ongoing probe, but did not confirm that they are investigating the vandalism as a hate crime.

UC Berkeley’s on-campus police declined to comment on the investigation.

“We are saddened and dismayed by what appears to be a hateful incident of antisemitism targeting the members of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity,” UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in a media statement.

“The campus administration has a long-standing and unwavering commitment to confronting antisemitism, and its expression, as we do with all forms of bias, discrimination, and hatred,” Mogulof added.