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Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

In recent weeks, our nation has witnessed a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism, including violent acts that target Jews. People have been beaten for the simple act of wearing a yarmulke. Synagogues have been defaced; Jews have been harassed in the streets; and anti-Semitic social media postings have become common. In the past two weeks, Harvard Hillel has been vandalized twice. Both incidents are currently under investigation by the Harvard University Police Department.

I have had too many occasions during my time here and at Tufts to condemn acts of hatred and bigotry in our nation. Each time, I have thought about my mother and father. They came to this country as refugees to escape religious persecution in Europe. They were embraced and afforded the freedom and safety to pursue their lives peacefully and productively. Everyone deserves the same opportunity my parents found here.

As the words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remind us, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” None of us should tolerate the targeting of any religious or ethnic group. It is our collective responsibility to speak out and condemn such acts of hatred and bigotry. Let us work together to build a better Harvard and a better nation.