Dear Drexel Students and Colleagues,

It pains and angers me to report that a group of masked individuals committed an egregious act of vandalism at our Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life at the end of spring break by removing several of the metal letters on the brick marquee backdrop that greets visitors. As I write, Drexel Public Safety and Philadelphia police are jointly investigating this incident, which was captured on video, as a hate crime, and are determined to apprehend the perpetrators. I urge anyone with information about this incident to call our Drexel Public Safety tip line at 215.895.2222. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.

It bears repeating that vandalizing centers of Jewish life and learning, defacing property with antisemitic graffiti, or ripping mezuzot off doorposts in residence halls does not constitute any legitimate form of protest. Such acts are antisemitic in their intent to disrupt Jewish life and intimidate our Jewish communities, and have no place at Drexel or in our democratic society.

I want to reassure all Jewish members of our community of our unwavering commitment to everyone's safety and security. The Perelman Center remains swipe-access only, and Drexel Public Safety will maintain active police and security patrols. Anyone who notices any suspicious activity outside the Perelman Center or acts of vandalism anywhere on campus should contact Public Safety right away.

I want to remind everyone that our policy of zero tolerance for antisemitism and all acts of intimidation, harassment, and hatred remains in place. We especially want to put those who vandalized the Perelman Center or other campus property on notice that they will never succeed in disrupting Jewish life at Drexel. Quite the contrary: With Pesach starting in less than two weeks, we will continue to ensure that Jewish life, learning and holiday celebrations will always flourish at Drexel.


John Fry

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