The Menorah at the Tannenbaum Chabad House entrance was vandalized May 17 at 4:22 a.m., according to an email from Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein.
The video surveillance shows two young adult males walking down the 2000 block of Orrington. One threw the Menorah on the ground, breaking several of the bulbs and twisting some of the arms.
“This act of violence against a Jewish symbol once again reminds us how important it is to continue to be vigilant in our conversations about diversity and mutual respect on campus,” Klein’s email read. “Religious symbols are not merely property but represent the very nature of faith. In this case, the Menorah that was vandalized represents the importance of illuminating the darkness and bringing peace, faith, love, and hope to the entire community.”
Klein also mentioned that he hopes those involved will step forward and apologize. He also asked anyone who recognized the perpetrators to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Evanston Police Department was contacted, and Klein said they responded rapidly.
Weinberg senior and Chabad House student executive board member Richard Goldring said though this is disappointing, it will not negatively affect what they do for the community.
“It’s clearly an unfortunate situation to see a symbol of light and learning and hope that the Menorah is so carelessly thrown to the ground, especially because it’s outside a place that for me has been one of comfort and safety for four years,” he said. “Everyone can assume that the Menorah will be either repaired or replaced. In no way will this act prevent the Chabad House from having the Menorah out front.”
Goldring said the Menorah was vandalized his freshman year as well. He added, “It’s disheartening to see it again right before I leave in my senior year.”
Updated, May 22, 9:30 p.m.: “We do plan on making sure the Menorah is in great shape and working condition,” Rabbi Klein said in an email. “We are thinking of replacing the entire Menorah for next year but we do not have the funds for that right now.” He also said the Menorah is currently in front of the Chabad House, but that it looks a little beaten up.