Jewish leader praises University of Illinois’ condemnation of anti-Semitic flyers
A Jewish leader at the University of Illinois praised the university’s swift response to the appearance of anti-Semitic flyers on campus on Feb. 23, 2022.
Multiple anti-Semitic flyers with small rocks were scattered around campus. The incident prompted university Chancellor Robert Jones to release a statement condemning the flyers.
Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, co-director of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Living, released a statement shortly after Jones’.
Jones’ quick response was refreshing because the school has not taken incidents of hate seriously enough, he said.
“I hope this is the dawn of a new era where we see the university and its faculty respond and respond quickly,” Tiechtel said. “But, we have to go from words to actions.
“I have so many students tell me they feel as if their voices aren’t heard, so when your voice is heard it's already the first step.”
Tiechtel said he wants to see people on campus move past their physical differences and stand up against hate targeting any group.
Students shouln not let hate take away pride in their identity, he said.
Freshman David Mengel, who is Jewish, said he hopes the chancellor’s response has an impact.
“Time will tell as to if [the university’s response] is enough to ensure all Jewish students feel safe and welcome on campus, and that these incidents don’t reoccur,” Mengel said.
In his statement, Jones called the flyers “hateful, hurtful and racist,” and he characterized whoever distributed them as craven and a coward.
Police continued to look for the person or people who distributed the flyers in the days after their discovery.