Tufts University police are investigating after a mezuzah was stripped from the doorpost of a Jewish student’s dormitory room, university president Anthony Monaco said Wednesday.
The student was awoken Saturday morning to sounds of laughter outside his room, President Monaco wrote in an email, before discovering the removal of the encased prayer scroll hung outside Jewish homes.
“Regardless of intent, the removal of this important symbol of Jewish faith is antisemitic and has caused harm,” Monaco wrote. “All members of our community should feel comfortable displaying and expressing their faith, and all members of our community should respect those displays and expressions. We are all responsible to each other.”
He said that Tufts University Police Department had launched an “extensive investigation,” and that no suspects had yet been identified.
Rabbi Naftali Brawer of Tufts Hillel told The Algemeiner that the mezuzah in question had been provided by the Jewish center.
“We have been offering support to the student and liaising with Tufts university administration and police,” Brawer said. “They have responded swiftly, thoroughly, and empathetically.”
“We are deeply concerned about this antisemitic act and will continue to forcefully call out any act of antisemitism on campus,” he continued.
In Wednesday’s email, President Monaco said the university plans to continue a previously launched initiative to address antisemitism at Tufts, noting the recent rise in anti-Jewish incidents across the country and in higher education.
“As our Jewish community celebrates the High Holy Days, I encourage each of you to reach out to your friends and colleagues who may be hurting today,” he wrote. “It is imperative that members of our Jewish community know that they have our complete support.