Torah scroll desecrated during break-in at Jewish fraternity house

Israel’s Diaspora Minister called the incident “reminiscent of dark times” for Jews.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A Torah scroll belonging to a majority Jewish fraternity was desecrated by vandals who broke into the organization’s house at George Washington University over the weekend, the school’s student newspaper reported.

The Hatchet said that Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Washington D.C. branch was robbed, and the criminals destroyed a number of Jewish prayer books, along with ripping up a Torah scroll and dumping laundry detergent on it.

The university’s president, Thomas LeBlanc, released a statement condemning the incident and emphasizing that the educational institute is partnering with local law enforcement to apprehend the culprits.

“I am appalled by the antisemitic vandalism that occurred at the TKE fraternity house, especially the desecration of the Torah scroll,” he said.

“This is a deeply disturbing incident, and our GW Police Department is working with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department to find the perpetrator.

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“I want to be clear: I condemn all such acts of antisemitism and all forms of hatred, discrimination, and bias in our community. Any act of antisemitism is an attack on the entire GW community and cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

“The sight of the Torah scroll [destroyed] on the floor at George Washington University is reminiscent of harsh images from a completely different era,” said Israel’s Diaspora Minister, Nachman Shai.

“Antisemitism has not disappeared, it is raising its head again in places we would not expect.”

“We are horrified to hear that a predominately Jewish fraternity at George Washington University was broken into and vandalized. Their Torah was destroyed,” wrote the Jewish on Campus NGO on Twitter.

“An attack on Jewish spaces and the destruction of a Torah is an attack on all Jews…For anyone confused about how serious this is: the Torah is the center of Jewish ritual life and Torah scrolls are invaluable.

“A single Torah takes over a year to make, and even the slightest damage can render it non-kosher.”