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A Message from Dean Ruger on Antisemitism

May 26, 2021

The Law School condemns antisemitic acts and the hate that motivates them.

Dear Law School community,

As we share in the joy of the end of a successful and challenging academic year, I write to acknowledge the sharp increase in reports from across the country and on our own neighboring campuses of antisemitic attacks, vandalism, and slurs. The Law School condemns these antisemitic acts and the hate that motivates them. Although this most recent surge of antisemitism is currently at the forefront of the news, we painfully acknowledge that antisemitism experienced by our Jewish community members is longstanding and has been steadily increasing, in person and online.

In recent weeks, the conflict between Israel and Palestine has escalated, as has the surrounding discourse. While the Law School has always been a place of robust and often contentious debate on these issues and others, such discord must not devolve into personal attacks on each other. Antisemitism in any form, including the tropes so often inserted into casual conversation, have no place here. We stand steadfastly against bigotry and prejudice, and urge all members of our community to come together in recognition of our shared humanity.

For members of our community feeling unsafe or experiencing anxiety in these fraught times, the following resources are always available to you:

  • University Help Line. Any member of the Penn community can call 215-898-HELP (4357) 24/7 for time-sensitive assistance navigating Penn’s health, safety, and wellness resources.
  • Walking Escort Service. Public Safety officers provide walking escorts to all campus location, 24/7. You can be accompanied from one campus location to another, to your parked vehicle, to a Penn Transit Stop, or to an on-campus SEPTA regional transit stop. Call 215-898-WALK (9255) or 511 from a campus phone.
  • Bias Incident Reporting. Reports of incidents of bias involving Penn students, faculty, or staff can be made here. Reports can be made anonymously.

For our Jewish community members, your law school supports you. We condemn the violence and hate being directed at you, and we will continue to work with you and all members of our community to promote personal safety and mutual respect.