Rutgers Jewish fraternity egged during Yom HaShoah ceremony for second straight year

Attack was the second incident of antisemitic harassment on the New Jersey campus this month.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

A Jewish fraternity house at Rutgers University was egged during an annual ceremony held to recite the names of Holocaust victims, days after it was targeted for antisemitic harassment by anti-Zionist protesters.

The series of incidents began Friday, when a caravan of participants from a Students for Justice in Palestine rally drove up to the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) house, shouting antisemitic insults and spitting in their direction, fraternity members reported.

Separately, on Tuesday morning, the house was discovered to have been egged during a 24-hour reading of the names of Holocaust victims ahead of Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, according to Rutgers Hillel and Rutgers University Police. It is the second year in a row that the AEPi house was egged during the ceremony.

Rutgers police said it was investigating the Friday episode, where “miscellaneous items” were also thrown at fraternity members, and had notified local prosecutors.

“The direct targeting of members of our Jewish community goes against everything our campus community stands for and is unacceptable, especially during a program remembering the horrific impact anti-Jewish hate can gave,” Rutgers Hillel said in a statement Wednesday. “We continue to support our AEPi students, as well as all members of our campus community, as we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring the Rutgers Jewish community feels safe, respected, and welcome on campus.”

The pair of antisemitic incidents prompted outcry from local officials and national Jewish groups, with NJ Representative Josh Gottheimer (D) calling the harassment of AEPi “appalling.”

“I am disgusted,” he tweeted. “Antisemitism is reprehensible, and this harassment deserves to be condemned without any equivocation.”

Asked for comment by The Algemeiner, a university spokesperson referred to a Monday statement by Rutgers University Chancellor-Provost Francine Conway, which said that “harassment based on religious belief, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, for any reason, is antithetical to our values.”

“We understand and are sensitive to the concerns of those who were targeted and stand by our Jewish students, faculty, and staff,” Conway continued, adding that the university would increase security patrols around the targeted building and offer counseling to students affected by the harrowing event.

Speaking to My Central Jersey news, AEPi President Adam Kaufman urged Rutgers University president Jonathan Holloway to take further steps.

“I call for the university, especially for the president, to act on antisemitism,” he said on Tuesday.

“They sent an announcement, but we just feel that we’re being silenced — that they are just putting out announcements to make us feel better,” he continued. “But there’s not really any change or any plan of action to present to us.”

Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers-New Brunswick did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.