No leads in anti-Semitism inquiry at Beloit College | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

No leads in anti-Semitism inquiry at Beloit College

BELOIT – A Jewish student at Beloit College was targeted twice with anti-Semitic messages in recent weeks and authorities say they’ve exhausted all leads at this time.

Beloit Police conducted interviews and examined evidence, in an effort to solve the crime, said Beloit Police Lt. John Kaltenbrun.

“Right now we don’t believe we’re going to get anything unless someone comes forward on their own,” he said.

A swastika was scrawled onto a dry-erase board on a student’s door on Jan. 25, said Susan Kasten, spokeswoman for Beloit College. Later, a threatening, anti-Semitic note was found under the door of the same student’s dorm room.

Kasten indicated college administrators have taken the incidents seriously, restricting access to the dorm and holding an event on campus where hundreds gathered against hate. Faculty have taken up the cause against hate, too, she said.

Another incident, perpetrated by a Muslim student who was allegedly seeking the same kind of attention, was labeled a hoax and led to an arrest. The student allegedly reported threatening language painted on his door and later confessed he’d done it himself. There have been no additional arrests, according to Beloit Police.

Jewish student Ethan Perel-Wertman wrote an op-ed for his school newspaper, “The Beloit College Round Table,” pointing out that he is the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor and noting that he was now wearing a yarmulke on campus. “I wanted this person to know that they could not make me, or the other Jews on campus, cower,” he wrote.

“All the reaction has been very positive,” he later said in an interview with the Chronicle, adding that he’d also put a mezuzah on his door.

Perel-Wertman, a freshman from Los Angeles, blames President Trump for “normalizing hate speech” and is particularly critical of Jared Kushner as a fellow descendant of a survivor.

“I am absolutely appalled,” he said.