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Anti-Semitic vandalism reported at University of Denver

The incidents happened within the past week at two residence halls, the university said.

DENVER — The University of Denver said Tuesday there have been three acts of antisemitism on campus in the past week including vandalism in residential halls.

On Thursday, a resident at Johnson-McFarlane Hall said their door was vandalized. Two people that live in Nagel Hall reported on Monday evening that their doors had been vandalized and that religious items had been removed, DU said.

Three students had their mezuzot torn from their doors, and one student had pork products glued to their door as well, according to an Instagram post from the DU Hillel and Daniel Bennett, executive director of Hillel of Colorado.

Placing a mezuzah on doorways is a Jewish tradition in which one puts prayers in the home under directions laid out in the Torah. Pork is considered an unholy food within Judaism.

The school's leadership to release a statement denouncing what had happened: 

"We're writing to share with you a note that was shared with our student body last night regarding a number of antisemitic incidents that have occurred at DU in the last several days. We stand together in deploring these acts and in committing ourselves to promoting a warm, welcoming campus in which all community members can thrive."

The statement was signed by Provost Mary Clark; Jeff Banks, vice chancellor for Human Resources and Inclusive Community, and Chris Whitt, vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The school said anyone with information about the vandalism can email the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX at equalopportunity@du.edu. Information can be reported online here.

The school's full response to the vandalism, along with resources for those who feel victimized about the incidents, can be found here.

Antisemitic reports in Colorado

There were at least 47 reports of antisemitism in Colorado in 2022, according to ADL Heat Map data. A similar act of mezuzah vandalism happened in Denver in April 2022. The ADL wrote that it got a report of mezuzahs “ripped from the doors of neighboring Jewish households.”

There were eight reports of antisemitic harassment at Colorado schools and Hillels' in 2022, including one mass shooting threat at the University of Colorado.

“An individual on the University of Colorado campus reportedly asked another individual for the location of a Jewish student organization and said he was going to ‘take an uzi to kill at the Rabbis and Jews,’” according to the ADL data entry.

A 9Wants to Know analysis of ADL figures shows the number of hateful incidents targeting Jews in Colorado rose 61% from 2017 to 2021.  

>  Below: Antisemitic incidents in Colorado, 2009-2022

9NEWS reporter Matt Jablow contributed to this report. 

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