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Editorial: Antisemitism has no place on College Hill

A week and half ago, an obscene antisemitic note was discovered at Brown RISD Hillel, a center of Jewish life on College Hill.

In the wake of this horrific attack, we stand in solidarity with Brown’s Jewish community.

Antisemitism has no place here, or anywhere. This should be self-evident, but it bears repeating. Unfortunately, we are seeing a troubling rise in antisemitic incidents nationwide. Major public figures, such as the rapper Ye and basketball player Kyrie Irving, have recently used their platforms to spread antisemitic bigotry. A mere four years ago in Pittsburgh, our country saw the single deadliest antisemitic attack in its history: a shooting at a synagogue. 

As of last year, reported antisemitism is also on the rise in Rhode Island. The hateful note found at Hillel cannot be understood in isolation ― its words evoked the hatred of not just one person but of broader patterns of antisemitism, both past and present, whose frightful echoes still linger. 


Despite the University’s best attempts at creating an inclusive environment, its campus is not immune to antisemitic attacks. The antisemitic note discovered at Hillel follows two previous antisemitic incidents reported on College Hill earlier this summer. And these followed two more reported antisemitic incidents in 2020 and 2017. Antisemitic symbols and rhetoric have been marked on bathroom walls and carved on trees. They have been found in dorms and, now, at Hillel — places where our Jewish community members live and commune, threatening their safety. They are unacceptable.

Addressing antisemitism is a collective duty. In response to the recent antisemitic note, Josh Bolton, executive director and rabbi of Brown RISD Hillel, stated, “We're not going to allow this hatred to stop our community.” As our campus’s Jewish community looks for healing in the aftermath, it is up to all of us to show our support. 

Antisemitism has no place here, or anywhere.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s Editorial Page Board. This editorial was written by its editor Johnny Ren ’23 and members Irene Chou ’23, Caroline Nash ’22.5, Augustus Bayard ’24, Devan Paul ’24 and Kate Waisel ’24.



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