President Richard Englert sent an email to Temple students on Thursday, acknowledging the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia across the United States and offering university resources to students.
“Temple unequivocally condemns antisemitism, Islamophobia and other acts of hatred and discrimination against any person in the strongest possible terms,” Englert wrote. “We are at our best when our students, faculty and staff come together. We believe in our community’s ability to support one another, without fear or judgment. We are committed to the goal of strength through inclusivity.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group for Muslim Americans, received 774 reports of Islamophobic incidents in the United States from Oct. 7 to 24, a 182 percent increase in incidents compared to any other 16-day stretch of the year.
The Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group for Jewish people, reported 312 antisemitic incidents in the United States in the same time period, a 388 percent increase in incidents compared to the same period of time in 2022.
Englert shared Temple’s Israel-Gaza Crisis webpage which includes resources like how to contact the Temple University Police Department and how to access emotional support through The Wellness Resource Center or the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership.
Students have a right to feel included, safe and have the ability to express their opinions, he wrote.
IDEAL is also launching a project with the Office of Student Affairs called “Messages for Peace,” which invites students and faculty to write anonymous notes about reconciliation and healing while reflecting on the events in Gaza and Israel. Students can visit the IDEAL office or the Office of the Dean of Students to participate.
Temple also receives guidance and recommendations on how to interact with affected students and faculty from the Interfaith Inclusion Center, Center for Anti-Racism and Blue Ribbon Commission on Antisemitism and University Responses, Englert wrote.
“As this situation evolves, we will adapt and continue to provide the support and resources that our students, faculty and staff need,” Englert wrote. “It is my promise that our approach will always be guided by our fundamental mission to educate in a safe, collaborative community that fosters inclusion and acceptance.”