The dramatic increase nationwide in threats of violence against Jewish schools, community centers and other organizations – 90 bomb threats since the start of the year and 20 just yesterday – hit close to home Monday afternoon when our neighboring Merage Jewish Community Center received a bomb threat and was forced to evacuate.
These despicable demonstrations of violent anti-Semitism assault not only members of our Jewish community but all people of goodwill. Our Jewish students, faculty, staff, partners and neighbors should take strength from knowing that the UCI community stands with them during these troubling times.
These events further illustrate the importance of the “Higher Ground” report by our Office of Inclusive Excellence and its call to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance and bigotry. Programming under the “Higher Ground” initiative began earlier this year, and we will continue to work with our campus and community partners to overshadow hatred with education, research and open discussion.
We respond to the darkness with the light of knowledge and mutual respect. In the face of violent threats, we add our voices to the chorus that declares we will not be intimidated as we pursue our mission to create and sustain a world in which diverse groups of people work together to advance our mutual well-being and common humanity.