PHILADELPHIA >> Students, lawmakers and religious leaders joined forces Sunday at a temple in Philadelphia to strongly denounce antisemitism on college campuses and in their communities.
The gathering at Congregation Rodeph Shalom came one day after University of Pennsylvania President Liz Magill resigned amid criticism over her testimony at a congressional hearing. Magill was unable to say under repeated questioning that calls on campus for the genocide of Jews would violate the school’s conduct policy.
“I have seen Pennsylvanians take actions big and small, and both matter, to combat antisemitism,” Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said at the event. “I’ve seen it here in Philadelphia where students raised their voices, where students made sure they were heard in the halls of power at their university, and leadership was held accountable.”
Similar sentiments were voiced by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., a fellow Democrat, and student speakers from Harvard and Penn. Harvard President Claudine Gay also took part in the congressional hearing along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Sally Kornbluth. They also drew criticism for their lawyerly answers.
Eitan Linhart, a sophomore at Penn, discussed his experience with what he called the rise in antisemitism on the school’s campus. He cited a Jewish fraternity being defaced with graffiti that read “The Jews are Nazis” and spoke of friends who no longer wear yarmulkes on campus out of fear.
“What surprises me is not the hatred,” Linhart said. “What surprises me is the indifference.”