Rabbi commands Jews to abandon prestigious US university


(MENAFN) In response to escalating tensions and safety concerns on campus, Rabbi Elie Buechler of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) has urged Jewish students at Columbia University to remain at home until the situation improves. This call comes after a series of events culminated in clashes between students and counter-protesters, prompting apprehensions about the safety of Jewish students on campus.

Last Thursday, hundreds of students were arrested following the establishment of a 'Gaza Solidarity Encampment' on campus. Subsequently, an altercation between Jewish counter-protesters and demonstrators on Saturday evening further exacerbated the atmosphere of hostility and raised concerns about the security of Jewish students.

Rabbi Buechler expressed deep concern over the recent events, particularly highlighting the inability of Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD to ensure the safety of Jewish students in the face of what he described as "extreme antisemitism and anarchy." In a message to the JLIC WhatsApp group, Rabbi Buechler advised Jewish students to return home and refrain from attending classes until the situation improves.

The rabbi's plea underscores the gravity of the situation and the heightened tensions surrounding issues of antisemitism and safety on campus. His recommendation comes at a critical juncture, coinciding with the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover. In response to the escalating situation, Columbia University's president, Minouche Shafik, announced the decision to transition classes to virtual learning, aiming to de-escalate tensions and provide an opportunity for reflection on future steps to address the unrest.

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