Police investigate 'appalling act of anti-Semitism' at Dartmouth College

Vandals at Dartmouth College destroyed the school's menorah on the last night of Hanukkah.

According to the school’s president, seven of the nine lights on the school’s menorah were “shot out with what appears to have been a pellet gun.”

Vandals destroyed Dartmouth College’s Hanukkah menorah, prompting a police investigation.

Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon wrote in a Dec. 17 letter to the Dartmouth community that seven of the nine lights on the school’s menorah had been “shot out with what appears to have been a pellet gun.”

“This appalling act of anti-Semitism, perpetrated during Hanukkah in the heart of our campus, is an affront to all,” said Hanlon. “We condemn this bigotry and hatred. Such acts leave members of our community feeling unsafe and afraid. They come from a place of ignorance and cowardice.”

The lighting of the menorah’s eighth candle went on as scheduled, and the college began working alongside local police to investigate the incident.

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Rabbi Moshe Leib Gray told The Dartmouth that he discovered the shattered lights when he went to light the seventh bulb on Dec. 16.

“They all had the same thing,” Gray explained. “Somebody literally stood there at the base of the menorah and shot, with some kind of an air gun or BB gun.”

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Hanover, New Hampshire Police Department Lieutenant Scott Rathburn told Campus Reform that law enforcement has not yet identified a suspect, but added that, through an eyewitness account and video from a local business, police have “narrowed the time frame when the damage occurred” to approximately 8:00 on the night of December 15.

“We are looking for two people described as young, possibly high school-aged, males,” said Rathburn. “We have also learned of other damage to buildings in the area of the Green that was caused by a BB/pellet gun.”

In December 2019, President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed toward combating anti-Semitism at colleges and universities. The executive order promises to withhold federal funds that fail to protect Jewish students from discrimination.

[RELATED: Trump signs executive order against campus anti-Semitism]

Campus Reform reached out to Dartmouth College for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft