To all members of the Northeastern University community:

Yesterday I learned that a sacred religious symbol, known as a mezuzah, was desecrated at Northeastern’s Hillel House near the Boston campus. The Northeastern University Police Department is investigating this incident; at this time they do not believe the suspect is affiliated with the university.

No matter its origin, this despicable act has left members of our Jewish community justifiably upset, saddened, and even fearful. They are experiencing firsthand an instance of senseless hate, coming at a time when the ancient scourge of anti-Semitism is on the rise across the U.S. and around the world.

We must respond first with compassion and empathy. We must offer an endless well of support, standing in unity with our Jewish classmates, colleagues, and friends.

This incident will not shake our shared commitment to the values that are fundamental to our community: fairness, respect, diversity, inclusion, and resilience. I ask each person within our community to do at least one thing today to embrace and exemplify those values, no matter how small the act. By living our core values, we affirm our shared humanity.

So let us move forward together, advancing our mission of knowledge and discovery by acting as members of one indivisible human family.



Joseph E. Aoun