Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA sends our heartfelt support to the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni of Reform Judaism’s academic center at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. ZOA is saddened and appalled that a swastika was painted on the sign at the entrance to the HUC-JIR campus earlier this week. Defacing a Jewish school with a swastika is hateful and offensive. It is calculated to frighten and cause pain to the relatives of the six million innocent Jewish men, women and children murdered by the Nazis.
Thankfully, HUC-JIR was able to promptly remove the paint and repair the sign, and the authorities are investigating the incident. (“Statement By Rabbi Aaron Panken, Ph.D., President, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute Of Religion,” Jan. 3, 2016.)
Unfortunately, there have been way too many anti-Semitic incidents and attacks during recent years, both in the United States and around the world. According to the FBI’s hate crime statistics, Jews are by far the major target of religious hate crimes: there were 731 victims of anti-Jewish hate crimes in the U.S. in 2015; 648 victims of anti-Jewish hate crimes in the U.S. in 2014; and 737 victims of anti-Jewish hate crimes in the U.S. in 2013. (Victims include institutions such as HUC-JIR, as well as individuals, etc.).
ZOA stands in solidarity with HUC-JIR and with all victims of anti-Jewish hatred. We must continue to stand together to combat the baseless scourge of anti-Semitism.