AMCHA’S Responses to Antisemitic Activity at Northwestern University



1.  Swastikas are found on campus in two separate incidents

  • INCIDENT: Reports of two separate incidents of antisemitic graffiti discovered on campus.  On Saturday April 11, a swastika was drawn on a wall of the men’s bathroom in the NU library, and on Wednesday April 15, a large swastika was found on the wall of a study lounge in the library. On Tuesday April 14, President Schapiro sent an email to the campus community stating that the April 11 incident was “offensive to the entire Northwestern community and will not be tolerated.”  President Schapiro’s message neglected to publicly acknowledge that a swastika is an antisemitic symbol associated with genocide perpetrated against the Jewish people, and that although it affects the entire campus community, it  particularly targets NU’s Jewish members for hatred and discrimination.
  • 4/21/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative coordinated a coalition letter of 23 groups to President Schapiro thanking him for his statement, illuminating what is missing from his statement, and asking that in order to fully protect Jewish students he, “Swiftly, forcefully and publicly acknowledge that swastika graffiti is an act of antisemitism and will not be tolerated on campus; Publicly commit to educating University staff, including campus police, in identifying antisemitism and antisemitic hate crimes; Formally adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of antisemitism to fully and accurately identify all future acts of hate toward Jews; Allocate resources and publicly commit to educating students about antisemitism and anti-Jewish discrimination.”
  • 4/21/15 – UNIVERSITY’S RESPONSE: President Schapiro thanked AMCHA and coalition for our letter as well as for the coalition’s suggestions stating, “thank you for your suggestions regarding other statements that might be included in a subsequent message to the Northwestern campus community. We are not planning on sending any additional messages at this time, but if we decide to do so, we will consider your recommendations thoughtfully, as we will your other suggestions.”
  • 4/22/15 – AMCHA’S RESPONSE: AMCHA Initiative coordinated a coalition letter of 23 groups to President Schapiro stating, “Thank you so much for your prompt reply to our letter. We commend you for your clear concern for the safety and security of all Northwestern students, including Jewish students, and we greatly appreciate your willingness to consider our recommendations for deterring future antisemitic activity on your campus. Thank you again for your leadership and commitment to fighting all forms of bigotry at Northwestern, and for protecting Jewish students.  Please be in touch if we can assist you at any time. Sincerely, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi), AMCHA Initiative, American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources, Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), Hasbarah Fellowships, Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel, Iranian American Jewish Federation, Israeli-American Council (IAC), National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN), Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, Simon Wiesenthal Center, StandWithUs, Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism, The Israel Group, The Lawfare Project, Training and Education About the Middle East (T.E.A.M.), Zionist Organization of America”