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Jewish Fraternity at University of Pennsylvania Vandalized with Antisemitic Message

A vacant property run by Campus Apartments — next door to the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity chapter house at 4040 Walnut St. — was vandalized with antisemitic graffiti on Friday night.  

The graffiti, found by members of AEPi around 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, read “The Jews R Nazis.” It has since been covered with duct tape and AEPi has contacted the University’s Division of Public Safety to investigate.

“The police came over, looked at it, removed the tape just to take a photo of the graffiti themselves, then put the tape back on and filed a report,” the AEPi president, who requested anonymity out of fear of personal safety, said. 

DPS wrote to the DP in a statement on Saturday that they will investigate the incident as “a potential hate crime.”  

“Public Safety was contacted this morning regarding graffiti written on the door at 4044 Walnut Street. Penn Police responded, took a report, and are providing support to the reporting parties. The reporting party stated that the writing was discovered last evening,” the statement read.

In response to a request for comment, a Campus Apartments spokesperson confirmed that its property at 4044 Walnut Street was vandalized.

“We take vandalism very seriously and do not condone any behaviors that stem from prejudice or hate,” the spokesperson wrote. “We appreciate Penn Police Department’s attention to this matter and will provide any help possible to aid in the investigation of this incident. 

AEPi describes itself as “the world’s Jewish college fraternity,” while Campus Apartments is owned by David Adelman, the chair of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.

There is no evidence confirmed by The Daily Pennsylvanian that the vandalism was targeted at AEPi or Campus Apartments.

The spokesperson added that Campus Apartments was prioritizing the wellbeing of its residents and Penn students, and “anything that threatens that will not be tolerated.”

“It’s very disturbing to myself, the chapter, and the Jewish community at Penn. We are hoping that this all ends peacefully and quickly as possible for all,” the AEPi president said. 

The DP reached out to Penn Hillel for a comment in regards to the incident, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

The incident comes one month after an unknown individual vandalized the Hillel building ahead of a morning prayer service, knocking over “several pieces of furniture” and “shouting antisemitic obscenities about Jewish people,” according to a Hillel statement.

In response to the incident on Sept. 21, Hillel wrote that it had asked Penn to provide full time security in front of the Hillel building “beginning immediately.” Penn’s statement came hours before Penn Hillel held a campuswide show of support for Jewish students.

Source: https://www.thedp.com/article/2023/10/penn-aepi-campus-apartments-antisemitic-vandalism-investigation