Stanford Faith Groups Unite In Wake Of Sukkah Vandalism

November 5, 2009

Author: Sue Fishkoff

Source: San Francisco Jewish Community Publications

Stanford University’s Jewish community celebrated the first night of Sukkot by eating the traditional festive meal inside the sukkah they put up every year.

The next morning, on Oct. 3, a student walked into the sukkah to discover that it had been vandalized: Someone had spray-painted large phalluses on the entrance flaps.

Campus police were called and the graffiti were covered with tapestries. Hillel alerted the entire campus with an e-mail blast.

“Our primary concern was messaging to the community that we’re saddened this happened but that the holiday’s events will go on,” said Hillel at Stanford’s Rabbi Mychal Copeland.

Although the attack may have been shocking and upsetting, it was not unprecedented.

Sukkahs on college campuses — because they are temporary structures built in the open and typically are unguarded at night — are prime targets for vandalism, whether inspired by drunkenness or anti-Semitism. About two are hit each year on North American campuses, according to Hillel figures.