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Editorial: Antisemitism at Brown is a wound to our community

On Sunday morning, Brown-RISD Hillel leaders received violent threats in their inboxes, specifically targeting Hillel employees, their families and the Brown-RISD Hillel Weiner Center. The incident came just four days after Christina Paxson’s school-wide email which stated that the University is working “to enhance our anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and processes.” Though Brown is taking administrative action to mitigate hateful behavior on campus, College Hill is still plagued with an ignorance that produces such threats. The threats sent to Brown-RISD Hillel leaders are unacceptable and we must refuse to grow complacent in the presence of antisemitism.

In the fall of 2022, an antisemitic note was left at the Weiner Center. In response, the Brown Daily Herald editorial page board published an editorial entitled, “Antisemitism has no place on College Hill.” A year later, BRH must now acquire a “special security detail” and update its “safety and security plans” in the light of recent threats.

If we want to eliminate the chance of future antisemitic incidents, then we as a school must refuse to accept any inkling of normalcy in the threats sent to BRH. We must take this offense as an attack on our community’s values as a whole and recognize the ways in which demonstrations of prejudice like this weaken our University. The Brown community must respond with the same outrage and fervor that our board expressed in saying  “Antisemitism has no place on College Hill,” or else we have failed to uphold the integrity, compassion, inclusiveness, antiracism and accountability that Brown students have demonstrated over decades of organizing and action.

After authorities deemed the building safe, BRH decided to assume its usual programming despite lingering fear and alarm, refusing to let antisemitism disrupt its community gatherings and connection. But the University and its student body must not take this perseverance for granted. While the administration must develop and enforce targeted anti-discrimination programming, Brown students cannot compromise our core values by allowing inaction to define our response. We must treat these threats as what they truly are: a wound to our community that should never be normalized.


Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board and aim to contribute informed opinions to campus debates while remaining mindful of the group’s past stances. The editorial page board and its views are separate from The Herald’s newsroom and the 134rd Editorial Board, which leads the paper. This editorial was written by the editorial page board’s members Paul Hudes ’27, Paulie Malherbe ’26, Laura Romig ’25, Alissa Simon ’25, and Yael Wellisch ’26.


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