A menorah was vandalized on Dartmouth campus Wednesday, according to WMUR Manchester.
The Chabad Hanukkah Menorah, displayed on the Dartmouth College Green, had multiple lights shot out by what is speculated to be a pellet gun, according to a message from Dartmouth President Philip Hanlon Thursday.
Chabad Rabbi Moshe Leib Gray noticed the shattered bulbs when he went to light candles Wednesday evening, The Dartmouth reported.
Scott Rathburn, Hanover Police lieutenant, said they are handling the case as a “bias based incident,” The Dartmouth reported. Hanover police have yet to determine who defaced the menorah, per WMUR Manchester.
“In the spirit of Judaism when they come with darkness we bring the light,” Darmouth Chabad wrote in a statement Thursday, inviting the community to light the menorah “to show we will not give in to the hate and darkness and create more light.”
“This appalling act of anti-Semitism, perpetrated during Hanukkah in the heart of our campus, is an affront to all. We condemn this bigotry and hatred,” Hanlon said, according to the president’s message.
Hanlon officially condemned the act of “bigotry and hatred” which he says left the community feeling unsafe and scared, per the president’s message. (RELATED: ‘We Are Everywhere’: Large Swastika Sticker Found On Anne Frank Memorial)
Hanlon continued, directly addressing the Jewish members of the Dartmouth community, writing, “We stand with you in anger and sadness at this despicable act, which is much more than vandalism or a prank, for it seeks to diminish the rich culture and history of the Jewish people.”
“It’s certainly a violating feeling when something like this happens. It shakes you, because you think, ‘it will never happen to me,’ or ‘it will never happen here,’” Gray told The Dartmouth.
Despite the vandalism, over 120 people gathered, both in person and on Zoom, to light candles and pray Thursday evening, the final night of Hanukkah, according to The Dartmouth.
“The events over the past 24 hours were initially terrifying but quickly reversed into one of the most uniting events of the Jewish community at Dartmouth,” Benjamin Cape, vice president of the campus Chabad, told The Daily Caller.
“The Dartmouth community did not let this event entrap up, rather we’ve taken it as an opportunity to stand together with love, empathy and unity,” he added.