Antisemitic attacks on Rosh Hashanah target US Jewish college students

Antisemitic flyers were distributed at University of Michigan, and eggs were thrown at a Jewish fraternity house at Rutgers University.

 An antisemitic flyer found on the front steps of a synagogue on Melbourne, Australia (photo credit: ANTI-DEFAMATION COMMISSION)
An antisemitic flyer found on the front steps of a synagogue on Melbourne, Australia
(photo credit: ANTI-DEFAMATION COMMISSION)

Jews were targeted with antisemitic attacks on multiple college campuses on Sunday and Monday as Jews around the world celebrated Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish new year.

In University of Michigan, antisemitic flyers were spread around the campus by white supremacist group the Goyim Defense League. One flyer was entitled "Every Single Aspect of the COVID Agenda is Jewish" and listed a large number of health officials who are either Jewish or Shabbat goys that have been influential in fighting the pandemic.

A Shabbat goy is a non-Jew who is sometimes called upon by Jews on Shabbat to do something for them that they cannot do according to the religious rules of Shabbat. The implication on the flyer is that since these people help Jews on Shabbat, they will also help with the "Jewish agenda".

Another flyer that had been placed in a plastic bag to protect it from the rain implied that Israel controls the world.

Following the finding of the flyers, Michigan Rep. Shadia Martini took to Twitter to condemn them. 

TWO INSTRUCTORS from the University of Michigan denied recommendation letters for a study abroad program because the students’ preferred destination was Israel (credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)TWO INSTRUCTORS from the University of Michigan denied recommendation letters for a study abroad program because the students’ preferred destination was Israel (credit: REUTERS/REBECCA COOK)

"I am horrified and disgusted to hear that Jewish students at the University of Michigan woke up to find rabidly antisemitic flyers on their porches in Ann Arbor this morning, on the first day of Rosh Hashanah," she wrote.

"I stand firmly against antisemitism."

Michigan Rep. Shadia Martini

Martini later tweeted an update, saying the Ann Arbor police had been notified and informed her that the flyers had been placed off-campus but in a residential area that is traditionally populated by students. The police also said they were investigating the incident.

At American University in Washington DC, a swastika was graffitied on the ceiling of a bathroom on Monday. 

"I wish the only message I sent today was shanah tovah," university president Sylvia M. Burwell said in an email detailing the incident.

Jewish fraternity house vandalized

In another attack at Rutgers University, the Jewish fraternity Alpha Espilon Phi headquarters was vandalized and eggs were thrown at the house. It is unclear whether there were students present on Monday as they may have gone to celebrate the holiday with their families.