GoFundMe Campaign Raises Nearly $18,000 In Response To Vandalism Of Jewish Menorah At University In New York

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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A GoFundMe fundraiser raised nearly $18,000 after a Jewish menorah was vandalized at Colgate University in New York late Wednesday.

The Hamilton Chabad menorah was knocked over and vandalized and two students reportedly admitted to vandalizing it, claiming they were “intoxicated” at the time, according to an email obtained by Colgate Maroon-News. (RELATED: Major University Weighs Antisemitism Charges Against Pro-Palestine Student Group)

In response, Sophie Neugarten started a GoFundMe page on Thursday to replace the menorah with an initial goal of $1,950. The page has raised $17,710 in the last 24 hours.

A menorah is a seven-branched candelabra used for religious purposes in Judaism.

“As a small Jewish community on Colgate’s campus, we must stay strong and keep spreading love and kindness to others,” Neugarten wrote. “In an effort to rebuild and strengthen our community, the Jewish students at Chabad are fundraising to buy a new Menorah. In times like these, when antisemitism is on the rise, we rely on support and love from those around us.”

Rabbi Shmuly Haskelevich, who runs the Hamilton Chabad, told the DCNF that his initial reaction was “shock” and “surprise.”

“My questions were ‘who would do this’ and ‘why,'” Haskelevich stated. “I want to specifically thank the police chief and the entire department who have been working non-stop. They are deserving of high praise.”

The university is looking to hold conduct hearings and the Hamilton police department is considering charges against the two students whose names were not made public, according to Colgate Maroon-News.

The Colgate community’s reaction to the vandalism was overwhelmingly positive, according to Haskelevich. He also pointed out that instances like this, such as antisemitism on college campuses or elementary schools, are times “where we can give in to fear, or we can stand up more straight and more proud.”

The rabbi said the GoFundMe campaign was incredibly touching and planned on having a new menorah in place by the following Tuesday.

“[W]e invite everyone to come to a celebration of its installation at the Chabad house on 58 Broad St. in Hamilton NY on Tuesday, time TBA,” Haskelevich concluded.

Colgate University, Neugarten and StopAntisemitism did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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