‘It was disheartening’: Stolen flags spark fear in Jewish community at Virginia Tech

Leaders believe it is related to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East

Second act of vandalism sparks fear among Jewish community at Virginia Tech
Second act of vandalism sparks fear among Jewish community at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech’s largest Jewish organization has been the target of vandalism for the second time in a year.

Leaders with Hillel at Virginia Tech believe it may be directly caused by the current conflict in the Middle East.

The organization has been a home away from home for the university’s Jewish population for decades.

“There’s been, you know, a few instances where students are being criticized directly, you know, within the campus and so we’ve been a resource for them,” Executive Director Hillel at Virginia Tech Susan Kurtz said.

The organization placed flags from different countries across the Middle East as an act of unity, but when its executive director realized two were missing over the weekend, she got the Blacksburg Police Department involved.

“It was disheartening when we saw that two of the flags were missing from the flag poles. We made the assumption that was a criticism or a statement about what was happening in the Middle East,” Kurtz said.

The vandalism has caused students some stress.

“It really did create fear for the students, for the community members, and we took it as really a negative thing for all of us,” Kurtz said.


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