Message from President LeBlanc on Antisemitic Vandalism

Dr. LeBlanc condemns antisemitism, emphasizes safety and well-being of university community remains top priority.

November 01, 2021

Dear Members of the George Washington University Community,

As you all have most likely heard by now, a despicable act of antisemitic vandalism occurred on our campus over the weekend.  Someone broke into the TKE fraternity house and vandalized the space, including desecrating a Torah. 

First, let me be clear: I condemn antisemitism and all forms of hatred, discrimination, and bias in our community.  As a university community, we must be unequivocal in this renunciation, and we must be unwavering in our support of one another, especially during these times.  The desecration of the Torah scroll is a direct and serious act of hate, and an attack on Judaism and the Jewish people.  Any act of antisemitism is an attack on the entire GW community and cannot, and will not, be tolerated.

The safety and well-being of our community has been and will remain our foremost priority.  I recognize that members of our community are feeling less safe on our campus after this incident, and we are taking every action to rebuild a sense of trust and safety.

The GW Police Department is actively working with the Metropolitan Police Department in the investigation to identify the perpetrators.  If you have any relevant information, please contact GWPD at 202-994-6111.  As our investigation continues, we have increased police patrols in the area around the TKE house and have several GW staff staying in the house.

Additionally, staff members in Campus Living and Residential Education and Fraternity and Sorority Life are providing assistance to students directly affected.  We encourage all members of our community who are seeking support to contact the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community EngagementCounseling and Psychological ServicesAdvocacy & SupportStudent AffairsHuman Resources; and Faculty Affairs.

I am committed to providing all resources necessary to this investigation and to supporting our community.  During this difficult time, I trust that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni will come together to support one another, and to ensure that we continue the work of building the welcoming and inclusive university that our community has come to expect and deserves.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. LeBlanc
President

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