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Columbia Rabbi Urges Jewish Students: ‘Head Home ASAP Amid Campus Chaos

A Rabbi at Columbia University advised Jewish students to return ⁤home for safety​ amid escalating anti-Semitism on⁣ campus. Rabbi Elie Buechler of the Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus shared concerns about the lack of security for Jewish students, prompting classes to be canceled. The situation drew attention from Mayor Eric Adams and Chabad at Columbia University, emphasizing the urgent need for action.


By Jack Davis April 22, 2024 at 6:33am

Warning that Columbia University in New York has turned into a cauldron of anti-Semitism, a rabbi has urged Jewish students there to go home and stay there for their safety.

Rabbi Elie Buechler, director of the Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus at Columbia/Barnard, issued the warning Sunday in a chat with 290 students, according to the Columbia Daily Spectator, the school’s student newspaper.

“The events of the past few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy,” he wrote in the chat.

“It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved,” Buechler said.

“It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus,” he said. “No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school.”

The situation had become so bad that in-person classes were canceled on Monday, according to the New York Post.

Columbia President President Minouche Shafik said tensions on the campus have been “exploited and amplified by individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas.”

“I understand that many are experiencing deep moral distress and want Columbia to help alleviate this by taking action. We should be having serious conversations about how Columbia can contribute,” Shafik said.

New York Mayor Eric Adams said if Columbia remains out of control, police officers — who made arrests during anti-Semitic protests last week — will return.

Should NYPD arrest more anti-Jewish agitators?

“I am horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus — like the example of a young woman holding a sign with an arrow pointing to Jewish students stating ‘Al-Qasam’s Next Targets,’ or another where a woman is literally yelling ‘We are Hamas,’ or another where groups of students are chanting ‘We don’t want no Zionists here’ — and I condemn this hate speech in the strongest of terms,” Adams said in a statement Sunday.

“We will not be a city of lawlessness, and those professional agitators seeking to seize the ongoing conflict in the Middle East to sow chaos and division in our city will not succeed,” the mayor said.

Chabad at Columbia University, a chapter of an international Orthodox Jewish movement, said in a statement, “We are horrified and worried about physical safety,” according to The New York Times.

Columbia president’s statement in canceling in-class learning today: “Students across an array of communities have expressed fear for their safety.”

We now have a new category of hate: “Anti-arrayism.” Just disgusting. @Columbia can’t even call out antisemitism!…

— David M Friedman (@DavidM_Friedman) April 22, 2024

“What’s funny about Hamas killing Jews? What’s funny about it?” student Rachel Freilich asked a pro-Hamas protester Sunday, according to the Spectator.

“It had me wondering if someone on my campus not only is just going to glorify and justify Hamas’ terror attacks, call on them to come and kill me next, and then laugh about it, like why should I stay here, at a place that seems to be failing to protect me and calling on terrorists to come into the University and kill me?” Freilich said.

Why are my friends and I being run off our own campus? We are not moving.

— Jessica Schwalb (@jessicaschwalb7) April 22, 2024

Student Jonathan Lederer, who tried to lead a counterprotest, said he was physically attacked.

“There was no public safety to be seen while I was absolutely assaulted,” he said.

“Two people threw some heavy-weighted bag at my face, and I felt totally vulnerable in that moment,” Lederer said. “I assumed that at a protest like that there would be Public Safety standing around, NYPD standing around. No one could be seen.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at [email protected].


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