This week in The Temple News, Intersection explored what it means to be Jewish at Temple University and how the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue has affected this community.
The Oct. 27 shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation that killed 11 people was the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in United States history.
Even though the Tree of Life Congregation is 300 miles away, the violence and anti-semitism hit close to home for Temple students.
For Thanksgiving, senior criminal justice major Ben Slesinger returned to Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, where he was a few miles away from the Tree of Life Congregation. He helped organize deliveries of mitzvah — or good deeds written on pieces of paper — to the Tree of Life Congregation from the Temple community.
“It could have been a synagogue in Nevada,” Slesinger said. “It could have been a synagogue in D.C. [Even if] it didn’t come from your hometown, it was against your people.”
While the Jewish community is healing, it is easy for non-Jewish students to forget that Temple isn’t immune to anti-semitism. In February 2016, three men drew a swastika and the N-word in snow on a car near Main Campus. A year later, white supremacist and neo-nazi groups distributed propaganda around campus.
It’s important for all students to remember that we can combat hate. If you see something, you can report incidents to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership or Temple Police.
Students should take the time to learn about different groups that are the targets of hate and marginalization and come together to support them not just in times of tragedy, but every day.