The anti-Semitic acts reported over the last week or so are not isolated to the IU campus. The first incident happened at the United Presbyterian Church on Second Street in Bloomington. A Jewish group regularly uses the facility for its services and meetings. According to Rabbi Steve Ballaban on November 20th someone threw a large boulder weighing about 32 pounds through a ground level window. Since then someone also vandalized a number of books at the Monroe County Public Library by flushing them in the toilets.
“It really is something that goes against the library’s philosophy of offering a broad resource of many different types of information and opinions. Judaism is just one of those opinions but it is one of the things we want to have represented in our collection,” said circulation manager Bara Swinson.
On campus there have been reports of vandalism at the Chabad Jewish Center, the Hillel Center, the Wells Library, and Goodbody Hall where the Jewish Studies program is located. Jeffrey Veidlinger is the director of the Jewish Studies. He says it does appear the crimes are escalating.
“It started with one rock then we hear three rocks then a few more than the desecration of the books so I am concerned,” said Veidlinger.
There is a suspect description gathered from the Goodbody Hall incident. Police say the person is a while male with a grayish beard between the ages of 40 and 50. The FBI and the Justice Department have also gotten involved in the investigation because of its possible hate crime overtones.