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Swastika found at Brandeis Jewish fraternity house

A swastika was discovered in the fraternity house of Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter of Brandeis University, the non-sectarian college founded by the American Jewish community, late Friday night.

During the off-campus event, Alpha Epsilon Pi brothers noticed a crude depiction of the Nazi symbol written in the condensation of a glass door in the fraternity house in which Jewish students live. The unofficial event, hosted by the Jewish fraternity, was open to the entire student population.

Brandeis students have taken concern. “It hits a raw spot,” said Emma Maier, Brandeis ‘18, who attended the event. “it is hard to separate my family’s deeply personal narrative from the incident.” Turkish international student Joel Hemsi, Brandeis ‘19, who serves as the International Ambassador of the student-led Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe (CAASE), added, “I’m shocked that such a thing happened at Brandeis, where many Diaspora Jews go to find a safe haven to openly express their Jewish identity.”

Though the Alpha Epsilon Pi event did not take place on Brandeis University property, the administration has denounced the act. In an e-mail to the student body, President Lisa Lynch wrote, “I condemn this malicious action. In my opinion, there is no place in society for such a despicable display of intolerance and hatred. Such heinous acts violate every value for which Brandeis stands.”

The swastika at Brandeis marks the newest development in a string of antisemitic incidents that have affected the Greater Boston Jewish community. Reported events in recent years include swastikas drawn on flyers at Northeastern University, a residence vandalised with racial graffiti, and Jewish professors facing discrimination at Wheelock College, and Catholic Memorial School students chanting “You killed Jesus” at at a basketball game against Newton North High School, which hosts a large Jewish population, last month. Seth Greenwald, Brandeis ‘17 and a Boston native, said: “in the last three years, I have seen more blatant antisemitism on campuses and elsewhere than in my entire life. Enough is enough.”

The Waltham Police Department has been notified and is working with the University on the investigation.