This happened in university in Pittsburgh … one month after the shooting at Tree of Life
via Adira Rosen
Pittsburgh, PA – This happened at my son’s university in Pittsburgh … one month after the shooting at
My name is Adira Rosen, I am a second year undergraduate directing student at Carnegie Mellon University, and I am Jewish. In one of my required drama courses, Foundations of Drama II, we are required to write a research paper on a theatrical production of our choice. I chose the original English-translation production of a famous Yiddish play called God of Vengeance.
As I finished the essay, late last night, I opened up a book I had checked out from Hunt Library earlier that day. I flipped open the book to page 7, glanced down, and saw some writing on the page. At first it didn’t register what I was looking at, but then I really looked at the page.
On the top margin, written in black pen were the words, “Jews have no business at CMU!” Written in a different handwriting, just below it, read “you are right :)” and below that written, also, in black pen was a large swastika scrawled across the center of the page.
After an initial moment of shock, I showed the book to my friends with whom I was working that evening. In shock, we all sat over the book and flipped through all 207 pages to find two more swastikas hidden on page 50 and page 163. I have attached photos of the pages for reference. (Please note that page 7 was ripped out last night and was not originally found in that condition.)
This is a hate crime.
This is a hate crime that happened here at Carnegie Mellon University, not in another country, or another state, or even in an adjacent neighborhood. It happened here.
As a Jewish person, and a member of the Pittsburgh community, the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, almost exactly a month ago, was the biggest tragedy that has ever affected me or my personal community. Seeing anti-Semitism occur right down the street from your home is a tragedy beyond belief but to hold a hate crime in your hands is something for which I have no words.
The book is called The Passing Game by Warren Hoffman. It explores the ways in which Judaism and the LGBTQ+ community intersect through theatre and, more specially, God of Vengeance. For context, God of Vengeance is one of the first recorded instances of an openly lesbian couple on a broadway stage. So, this is not only an attack on the Jewish community but also an attack on the LGBTQ+ community. The odds of this book being the only book in Hunt Library to have been defaced in such a way are low. What’s scarier is that this book has only been in the CMU library system since 2009 and it seems as though it has barely been opened or touched, except to desecrate the pages with symbols of evil and language of hate.
Now is the time to act. Here is WHAT WE CAN DO:
share this story, keep talking about it, DENOUNCE this behavior so that this minority of hatred knows that we won’t stand for this kind of behavior.
PLEASE share this post, comment, like, get the conversation started. The recent shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, that look eleven innocent lives from our community, was a massive public atrocity but acts of anti-Semitism and hate happen every day, hidden from view.
It is our job to make sure these acts of hate don’t get swept under the rug, we must condemn this. We must lead with kindness, we must speak with care, and we must fight with passion and love over anger and hate.