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Jewish Students at Pittsburgh Colleges Don’t Feel Safe

Jewish Students at Pittsburgh Colleges Don’t Feel Safe

“Since the Oct. 7 massacre, Mr. [Julius] Arolovtich said he has CMU [Carnegie Mellon University] friends who have received death threats and been harassed by other students.”

We’ve covered instances of antisemitism at U. Pennsylvania and how the Ivy League school is losing donors.

But Jewish students at other Pennsylvania schools face as much hate.

Carnegie Mellon University freshman Dan Lhavi now has to look around him to ensure his safety on campus due to tensions after Hamas invaded Israel.

But Lhavi is not the only one. From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Antisemitic incidents have cropped up at Pittsburgh-area higher education institutions, although not at the extremes that some other universities have experienced. Several CMU students who spoke with the Post-Gazette said they know Jewish CMU students who have been threatened and harassed since the war began.

At the University of Pittsburgh, officials confirmed two reported incidents of antisemitic harassment and graffiti since Oct. 7. Pitt has also seen an increase in reported antisemitic and anti-Muslim remarks, university spokesman Jared Stonesifer said.

At a pro-Palestinian rally held on CMU’s campus on Thursday, students and community members chanted, “Globalize the intifada,” a phrase that calls for a Palestinian uprising and is understood by many Jews to be a call for violence against Israelis or Jews. Those at the rally also shouted, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a cry that many hear as a call for the removal of Jews from the disputed land in the Middle East.

Thursday’s protest, one of many that occurred at campuses across the country that day, coincided with the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a pogrom against Jews carried out by Nazi Germany in 1938 — timing that many in the Jewish community saw as significant.

Julius Arolovtich, a CMU sophomore studying robotics and electrical and computer engineering, hears the chants and shouts as calls for violence against Jews.

“Jewish students’ safety is being sacrificed in the name of discourse, but this is no discourse, this is incitement to violence,” said Mr. Arolovitch, who was born in Israel and grew up in Boston. “This, thus far, has been the culmination of events on CMU’s campus, and none of us knows what comes next. No Jewish student does, and reasonably can, feel safe.”

Since the Oct. 7 massacre, Mr. Arolovtich said he has CMU friends who have received death threats and been harassed by other students.

Days after Mr. Arolovitch and his peers painted a message in support of Israel on CMU’s “free speech” fence — a fence that sits at the center of the bucolic Oakland campus and is used for all sorts of messages by students and campus groups — the message was painted over with a new message that read, “75 years of occupation.”

At AMCHA Initiative, a nonprofit that investigates, documents and combats antisemitism at American colleges, work has skyrocketed since the war started in October.


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Gravvitt Polling Agency | November 13, 2023 at 12:43 pm

We conducted a thorough survey of living and dead plants and animals in Pittsburgh over the past fifty years.

Faced with circumstances in which they feel threatened, or otherwise do not feel reasonably safe, this is what we found — broken down by groups:

Left handed people: “Get out.”
Women: “Get out.”
Animals: “Get out.”
Asians: “Get out.”
Children: “Get out.”
Trees: “Get out”
Military “Get out”
Music teachers: “Get out”
Men: “Get out.”
Software engineers: “Get out.”
Traffic monitors: “Get out”
Eskimos: “Get out.”
Juvenile delinquents: “Get out.”
Pro athletes: “Get out”
Rocks: “Get out.”
Psychiatric patients: “Get out.”
People of every color: “Get out”
Tall people: “Get out.”
Short people: “Get out.”
Brave people: “Get out”
Cowards: “Get out.”
Fish: “Get out.”
Mountain climbers: “Get out”
Smart people: “Get out.”
Dumb people: “Get out.”
Social workers: “Get out”
Sailors: “Get out.”
American Jews: “Stay and think it over.”