Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life. (Twitter Screenshot) (Twitter Screenshot)
drexel uni

The school president said the incident was being investigated by Drexel Public Safety and the Philadelphia Police Department, as a hate crime.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

The Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life at Drexel University in Philadelphia has been vandalized, school president John Fry revealed in a statement condemning the incident.

According to Fry, the vandals removed large channel letters spelling out Perelman’s name from a brick structure bearing the building’s name. The disturbing act, which occurred amid an explosion of antisemitic hate crimes across the US, was filmed by surveillance cameras, but the culprits cannot yet be identified because they wore masks.

“It bears repeating that vandalizing centers of Jewish life and learning, defacing property with antisemitic graffiti, or ripping mezuzot off doorposts in residence halls does not constitute any legitimate form of protests,” Fry said on Tuesday.

“Such acts are antisemitic in their intent to disrupt Jewish life and intimidate our Jewish communities, and have no place at Drexel or in our democratic society.”

Fry added that the incident is being investigated, by both Drexel Public Safety and the Philadelphia Police Department, as a hate crime. He also issued a call for tips and any information that could bring the vandals to justice.

“I want to remind everyone that our policy of zero tolerance for antisemitism and all acts of intimidation, harassment, and hatred remains in place,” he continued. “We especially want to put those who vandalized the Perelman Center or other campus property on notice that they will never succeed in disrupting Jewish life at Drexel. Quite the contrary: With Pesach starting in less than two weeks, we will continue to ensure that Jewish life, learning, and holiday celebrations will always flourish at Drexel.”

The latest vandalism is not the only act of hate targeting a Jewish institution to take place this month. Within a week, the Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El synagogue in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania was vandalized twice, with the perpetrators graffitiing a sign on the property with a swastika.

The incidents prompted a response from Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D).

“Antisemitism and the vandalism of a house of worship of any kind have no place in this Commonwealth,” Shapiro said on X/Twitter. “These acts of hate will never change the fact that no matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you do and don’t pray to, you belong here in Pennsylvania.”

Antisemitic incidents in the US have skyrocketed by over 360 percent since Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, according to data published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in January.

The group, which has tracked such data since 1979, recorded 3,283 antisemitic incidents, including 60 assaults and over 500 vandalisms of Jewish institutions and houses of worship in the three months following the Hamas atrocities. Another 500 occurred on college campuses.

“In this difficult moment, antisemitism is spreading and mutating in alarming ways,” ADL chief executive officer Jonathan Greenblatt said after the data became public. “This onslaught of hate includes a dramatic increase in fake bomb threats that disrupt services at synagogues and put communities on edge across the country.”

Send Passover Packages to Needy Israeli Soldiers - Bring Them Joy!

We are honored to thank the young men and women of the IDF who risk their lives every day to protect the citizens of Israel. Since October 7th, soldiers have been on the battlefield for months - many are hoping to come home for Passover.

Join us in sending Passover food packages (and personal notes) to Israeli soldiers and their families.

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