International Hillel President Avraham Infeld condemns the hate crime committed against an Indiana University student Tuesday night, adding that the community's response demonstrates a strong commitment to tolerance.
"Anyone who is committed to the basic American value of brotherhood must be horrified by this attack against a Jewish student," says Infeld. "The best repudiation of this hate crime is the support given to the student and the Jewish community by Mayor Mark Kruzan, Indiana Chancellor Ken Gros Louis and non-Jewish clergy. Their outspoken condemnation of this incident and their offers of assistance demonstrate once again that the city of Bloomington and Indiana University reject hatred and embrace diversity."
On Tuesday, April 27, a car belonging to a Jewish student was painted with swastikas and the word "Jew." The Campus Religious Leaders organization at Indiana has offered to pay to repaint the car.
More than 700 students, clergy, university officials and community members attended a rally Wednesday night at the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center at Indiana University. The rally was sponsored by Indiana University and Bloomington United, an inter-faith group that promotes diversity.
Speaking at the rally, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan said "Let's not mince words. This was a hate crime. It's disheartening."
Indiana University Dean of Students Richard McKaig read a statement from IU Chancellor Ken Gros Louis: "Each of us must stand alone against bigotry and anger in our individual lives before we can collectively stand against them in our communal lives. One by one, we must question ourselves or our friends or our neighbors whenever the first whispers of hate suggest themselves."
Indiana Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Sue Shifron said, "I have received so many e-mails of support, concern and caring that I know, at least in Bloomington, Indiana, that the majority of us are people of good will who will stand up and be counted saying we will act to make sure that good triumphs over evil."