A Torah in Tau Kappa Epsilon’s house on campus was vandalized during a burglary over the weekend, according to a statement from the fraternity.
The post states that TKE’s house on campus was “broken into,” and Jewish texts were “desecrated.” TKE is collaborating with university officials and the Anti-Defamation League, according to the statement.
“Our entire chapter is outraged and saddened by this blatant act of anti-Semitism and violence against our brothers,” the statement read.
– Dr. Cissy Petty @cissypetty October 31, 2021
A university spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.
Chris Osborne, president of TKE, said the Torah was one of several religious texts belonging to the chapter that usually uses them to curse new members of the fraternity in. Osborne said that other religious texts, all of which were kept, in the basement of TKE’s house, was left unharmed, but a Bible was moved from its original place.
Osborne said the vandalism took place approximately between midnight and 2 a.m. Sunday, and a fraternity brother found the vandalism around 6 p.m. .
“Hot sauce was poured over the kitchen walls, the ceiling, the refrigerator, the kitchen appliances, the floor, etc.,” Osborne said. “And other miscellaneous items were thrown around, there were piles of playing cards scattered all over the floor on the first floor.”
Osborne said he estimates about a quarter of the fraternity’s members are Jews.
“Jewish brothers and non-Jewish brothers are generally just angry and upset that this would happen, that our house would be broken into,” Osborne said.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Cissy Petty called the vandalism “terrible” in a tweet Sunday afternoon. Petty said the GW Police Department will investigate the incident.
“I know this has frightened and hurt many in our society,” Petty wrote. “I’m angry and upset about this disgusting, self-centered act.”
The American Jewish Committee tweeted Sunday calls on police and GW leaders to “quickly identify and apprehend those responsible.”
“We are appalled at the vandalism of a Jewish fraternity house on @GWtweets, which included the desecration of sacred Jewish texts,” they wrote.
Jewish on Campus too tweeted about the incident Sunday and said they were “appalled” and that the burglary and vandalism was “an attack on all Jews.”
“This hateful act of anti – Semitic violence must be immediately condemned and thoroughly investigated by @GWtweet’s administration,” they wrote.
Washington, DC Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted On Sunday afternoon, the organization is “appalled” by the incident and urged administrators to “apprehend” those responsible.
“We urge law enforcement and the GWU administration to quickly identify and apprehend those responsible for this horrific act of anti-Semitism,” the tweet reads.
ADL did not immediately return a request for comment.
This story is under development and will be updated.
Carly Neilson contributed with reporting.