More than 100 leaflets with hand-drawn swastikas were found dropped on the front yard of the Chabad Jewish student center at Virginia Tech.
The leaflets were discovered at the student center located across the street from the Blacksburg university on Saturday, March 18 by the Chabad’s center co-director, Rabbi Zvi Yaakov Zwiebel.
The incident occurred a day after the Jewish student center announced that Chabad was hosting the renowned Holocaust survivor Rabbi Nissen Mangel for a lecture at Virginia Tech this month. Zwiebel told local media he believes the two are related.
The lecture program is to honor Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who was among the 32 people killed in the 2007 shootings on campus. Librescu blocked the door of his classroom so students could escape through the windows.
In a statement issued after the incident, Zwiebel called the appearance of the leaflets a “disgusting act of hate.” The rabbi said he filed an incident report with the Blacksburg Police Department, which he said was “extremely helpful and professional in their response.”
Sue Kurtz, executive director of Hillel at Virginia Tech, said in a statement, “The Malcolm Rosenberg Hillel Center at Virginia Tech is deeply concerned about anti-Semitic leaflets with swastikas found on the front yard of the Chabad house next to campus. This type of hateful vandalism has no place in our community.
“Hillel appreciates the University’s swift public condemnation of this incident. We commend their commitment to investigate with the Blacksburg police and hold those responsible to account and for their affirmation of our shared values of inclusion and respect by our Hillel and broader campus community.”
“This incident is all the more surprising seeing as it is the first such act since Chabad on Campus at Virginia Tech was opened more than eight years ago,” Zwiebel said. “We appreciate Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands, who quickly tweeted his support for the Jewish community, and we are in touch with the administration as they proactively respond to this incident.”
Sands said in his tweet, “The propagators of hate may be among us, but they are not welcome in our community.” (JTA)