Mayor Kruzan, Rabbi Chincholker, Alex Groysman gather for one of many menorah lightings (Mottinger, IDS)

It started a few weeks ago, on November 23, in Bloomington Indiana, home of the Indiana University Hoosiers.

A rock was thrown at the Hillel House and at the Chabad House. At the university’s Herman B. Wells Library, eight Jewish books were found in eight separate lavatories covered in urine. A rock was thrown into the window of an apartment above the Chabad House/Jewish student union. Their non-Jewish tenants on Golf Lane were startled by the incident; who wouldn’t be? A half dozen other, perhaps unrelated, reported incidents ranged from a broken pane of glass at the Jewish Studies department, to swatikas in the Quad and suspicious jam left at a synagogue, to a stolen mailbox at the historically Jewish ZBT fraternity.

As for the maccabees. Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan asked residents to wear blue last Monday for Bloomington Jewish Solidarity Day, and the rock that was thrown through a window became the base of one of the community’s hanukkiah menorahs. In a few inches of snow this week, Kruzan was invited to light this menorah, along with students and others. It took several attempts on a slippery ladder, and nearly half a dozen lighters to get the shamash started; but soon enough, lights, singing and dancing came to Bloomington.

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