Over 150 people gathered in the South Oval Tuesday to show solidarity and speak out against several recent antisemitic incidents.
Despite rainy and frigid conditions, the South Oval was filled with students and staff alike, speaking out against recent off-campus antisemitic incidents to show the resilience present amongst the Ohio State Jewish community. Antisemitism has been spiking nationally , according to the Associated Press, with college campuses seeing a major increase as well, including Ohio State.
“There’s no need to put hate towards a group of people that are just practicing their religion. We would never do that to a Muslim, we would never do that to a Christian based on their faith,” Sadie Klaff, a second-year in psychology and board member of the Schottenstein Chabad House at Ohio State said. “So it’s just — it’s disturbing in a sense that we’re in this place where we’re just trying to study on campus and we don’t feel safe in our own classrooms.”
According to previous Lantern reporting , several antisemitic incidents have occurred on and off campus in recent months. In November , Hillel, a Jewish student center, was vandalized , and two Jewish students were assaulted while being asked if they were Jewish the following day.
Most recently, Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish organization and unrecognized as a fraternity by the university, reported two people menacing the house early Sunday morning, according to previous Lantern reporting.
Among the student and faculty speakers were Andrew Zutler, a fourth-year in political science, and member of AEPi; Klaff; Zach Klein, a fourth-year in aerospace engineering; senior Rabbi Hillel Skolnik; Jordan Vandersluis, a third-year in speech and hearing sciences and treasurer for Chabad; and Ori Yehudai, the Saul and Sonia Schottenstein Chair in Israel Studies and associate professor at Ohio State.
“That’s what I would like for our non-Jewish friends to realize: we just want you to support us for who we are as Jewish people,” Vandersluis said. “We don’t need you to agree with our political beliefs or anything like that, we just want you to help us celebrate the parts of ourselves that we love so much and the parts of ourselves that we try to celebrate all the time.”