burned_sukkah_440.jpgTwo campus sukkot (that is plural for sukkah) were vandalized over the holiday. Hillel of Silicon Valley’s sukkah was torched. Chabad at UC Davis’s sukkah was defaced with anti-Israel slogans. The start of another year of tolerance for Jews on campuses in California is in the air.

From UC Davis:

Jewish Religious Booth Vandalized

Student Programs and Activities Center representatives reported a hate crime yesterday, as graffiti was found defacing a small hut on the Quad being used for a Jewish holiday….

The graffiti was discovered by SPAC and then reported to several organizations on campus, including the UC Davis Police Department and Hillel. Mike Amerikaner, program director of Hillel, said that the vandalism is unrelated to the holiday, though it made reference to Israel….

Amerikaner went on to add that this case of vandalism is indicative of a larger problem on campus.

“This is not something that’s new. We’ve been dealing with anti-Semitism on campus for awhile now,” he said.

And in the heart of Silicon Valley – a sukkah is torched.

Ceremonial shelter burns,ends Jewish Sukkot festival

Sukkot festivities ended early for Jewish students at San Jose State University after someone burned the outdoor shelter – known as a sukkah – that marks the Feast of the Tabernacles.

A student arrived Wednesday morning and found the sukkah – made of a metal frame and nylon walls – melted, said Sue Maltiel, executive director of Hillel of Silicon Valley.

Police and Hillel officials believe the fire was deliberately set but was not a hate crime. There were no notes or messages indicating anything other than vandalism, said Sgt. Mike Santos with university police, noting that the campus is downtown and vagrants often sleep on Hillel’s patio.

Sukkot activities and the Hillel got back to normal at both campuses right away.

At least I can report that the sukkot at CSU Long Beach, Chapman University, and UC Irvine stood unmolested during the holiday.

Shake of the lulav to the Oyster

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Rabbi Yonah


  • There’s anti-every group on every campus.

    There’s are very few student groups on most campuses that haven’t been the subject of criticism or vandalism by an opposing group. Colleges strive to diversify their enrollment and mischief results.

    The solution does not lie in young people attending “mostly Ortho” educational institutions, which is the standard ba’la tshuva responsa to the question “what kind of education do you want for your child after High School?” This answer is from parents who had the opportunity to attend anyplace they wanted and now are restricting their children. Take that “Beyond Tshuva”.

  • Rabbi Yo:

    Thanks for helping us NorCal Jews get some press.

    Please be in touch with the Hillel of Silicon Valley and the Davis Chabad for ways that people can help out.

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