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Assailants Damage Jewish Communal Building on California University Campus

The University of Southern California Chabad Jewish Student Center had its glass door kicked in by two vandals on Tuesday night, the victims said.

The USC Department of Safety daily crime and fire log recorded a Tuesday hate or bias vandalism incident at the block of the Chabad house, and the Chabad mission shared a video on Wednesday of the incident.

The door camera footage and photographs shared by Chabad showed two vandals charging up to the door and kicking it, leaving glass scattered on the ground and scratches on the door. Further dashcam footage showed that the two vandals had been part of a larger group riding bicycles. The group had stopped when they saw the Chabad house, and waited for the vandals to kick the door.

“Thank God none of the kids were near the door, and we are all safe,” USC Chabad said on social media. “[We] Have to figure out something to secure the front door until we can get this fixed.”

USC Chabad said that they hoped USC DPS could track down the perpetrators. In contrast to those who chose to destroy and damage property, the USC Chabad said it would continue to build Jewish life on campus by finishing the refurbishment of its center with a new dining hall, synagogue, library,  kitchen, dormitory, game room, and kosher restaurant.

Former Chabad Student Board President and World Jewish Congress Next Gen intern Alyssa Wallack said through the youth group’s social media that the incident “felt like a personal attack.”

“This place is my home away from home. We gather there to celebrate traditions and find warmth and belonging. This attack has made me feel unsafe in what’s supposed to be our safe space away from the climate on campus,” said Wallack. “As we always do, I know we’ll stay strong and do even more to bring light and resilience in the face of such acts.”

In April the USC Chabad issued an open letter to the USC administration warning about rising tensions at the campus.

The USC Hillel said in a May one statement that swastika graffiti on the outskirts of the campus. The Hillel chapter had also warned that the Jewish community in general had seen a dramatic rise of antisemitism in that academic year.

https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/article-805194