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Local Leaders Urge University of Wisconsin-Madison to Investigate Antisemitic Chalkings on Campus

The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Photo: Photo by Jeff Miler / UW-Madison.

September 15, 2022

A group of faith and community leaders from across the state of Wisconsin have joined together to condemn the recent antisemitic chalkings on the UW-Madison campus and urge the university’s administration to conduct an investigation.

The statement — published on Tuesday by the Jewish Federation of Madison — said, “We are appalled that on the first day of classes at UW Madison, the campus community awoke to find multiple sidewalk chalkings around campus that targeted several Jewish student groups labeling them as ‘racist,’ ‘genocidal’ and invoking the antisemitic trope of ‘having blood on their hands.'”

“As Wisconsin faith and community organizations committed to fostering an environment of belonging for all people, we stand against all forms of hatred and bigotry, and today we must reaffirm that we stand against antisemitism,” it continued. “This hateful speech scrawled anonymously under the cover of night falls outside the bounds of dialogue. The demonization of the Jewish community, and specifically Jewish students and their Jewish organizations is a direct assault on Jewish identity. This is especially dangerous given the recent increase of antisemitic incidents both on the UW Madison campus, and across the nation.”

“We thank the UW Administration for their statement naming the antisemitism that occurred,” the statement noted. “We also call on the UW Administration to conduct an investigation — it is important to identify whether a UW student organization, individual students or an outside group is responsible, and ensure that any necessary education and accountability can be pursued. It is essential that the UW Administration address the full inclusion of all Jewish campus community members as an integral part of their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Hatred towards any identity group has no place on campus, and hatred targeting Jews is no exception.”

It concluded, “We must redouble our efforts to call out hatred and bigotry of all forms and stand together as a diverse community to support any marginalized group that is targeted by hate.”

Signatories of the statement included:

– Advent Lutheran of Madison Christian Community, Rev. Nick Utphall

– Anti-Defamation League, David Goldenberg, Midwest Regional Director

– Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Wisconsin, Jessica Boling, Edgar Lin, MJ Wong Engel, Kabby Hong, Francesca Hong, Erik Kennedy, Edgar Lin, Gaochi Vang, Lorna Young, Executive Committee Members

– Bay Bridge, Anne O’Connor, Jenn Koop Olsta, and Kathy Wurzer, Cofounders

– Circle Sanctuary, Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister

– ElevAsian, Erik Kennedy, Jessica Boling, Co-founders

– Filipino American Association of Wisconsin, Angelica Varona Camara, President

– Fitchburg Memorial United Church of Christ, Rev. Kristin Gorton

– Forward Latino, Darryl Morin, National President

– Janesville UCC, First Congregational Church, Rev. Dr. Tanya Sadagopan, Minister

– Japanese American Citizens League, Wisconsin Chapter, Ron Kuramoto, President

– Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Andrea Bernstein, Associate Director

– Jewish Federation of Madison, Alan Klugman, Executive Director

– Jewish Social Services of Madison, Kai Yael Gardner Mishlove, Executive Director

– Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, Rev. Cindy Crane, Director

– Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Miryam Rosenzweig, President and CEO

– Milwaukee Zen Center, Rev. Reirin Gumbel

– National Council of Jewish Women, Milwaukee, Sue Strait, Co-President

– 9to5 Wisconsin, National Association of Working Women, Wisconsin Chapter, Christina Thor, Wisconsin State Director

– Organization of Chinese Americans, Wisconsin Chapter, Betty Chan, President

– Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison, Most Reverend Donald J. Hying, Bishop of Madison

– St Mark’s Lutheran Church, Pastor Lisa Nelson

– Sikh Temple of WI, Pardeep Singh Kaleka

– Temple Beth El Madison, Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

– The Crossing (UW-Madison), Karla Schmidt, Campus Minister

– We Are Many-United Against Hate, Masood Akhtar, Founder and President

– Wisconsin Council of Churches, Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director

– Wisconsin Council of Rabbis, Rabbi Steven Adams, President

– Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Reverend Larry Sexe Retired ELCA pastor, President of the Board, Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Executive Director

– Wisconsin Jewish Conference, Michael Blumenfeld, Executive Director

– Worker Justice Wisconsin, Rebecca Meier-Rao, Executive Director

Category:On Campus