East Lansing, MI – The Jewish community at Michigan State University raised concerns after a Jewish symbol hanging on a student’s door was vandalized.
The incident comes at a time when anti-Semitic hate crimes are on the rise across the country. In the first week of December, the headlines were full of high-profile celebrities and athletes spreading anti-Semitic sentiments.
A Michigan State University student speaks out after her own property was vandalized.
When freshman Adina Peysakhov comes home from class, she is greeted by a clerk on her doorpost. It is called Mezuzah and is a form of protection.
“It should be on the doorpost of every Jewish home,” Peysakhov said. “You kiss it every time you leave and every time you come back, and it’s just there to keep the house safe and guard the house when you’re inside and outside.”
Two weeks ago, Peysakhov was at her dorm when she heard a loud bang on her doorpost. Their mezuzah had been torn down.
“I could tell it was very intentional because of how loud it was when it was knocked off and how far it was from my doorpost on the ground,” Peysakhov said. “The whole situation, it was very tough and upsetting.”
Officials at the Chabad Student Center at MSU said they don’t believe it was an accident.
“The mezuzah is supposed to be touched every time you enter and exit the house, so the tape—the double-sided tape—of the mezuzah is pretty strong,” Rabbi Benzion Shemtov said. “It’s not easy to fall down.”
Peysakhov was told that the building had no cameras in the hall where their dormitory is located. As anti-Semitic crimes rise across the country, Shemtov said Peysakhov is keeping his head up.
“And stand tall and strong to shine the light of their faith,” Shemtov said.
“I am very proud of my Jewish identity,” said Peysakhov. “That will not deter or discourage me from participating in my beliefs.”
Michigan State University’s Department of Student Life and Engagement said they oppose antisemitism and hatred in all forms and are pursuing all cases of reported discrimination and harassment.