A Jewish student centre serving the University of Oxford was subject to a number of anti-Semitic attacks this month.
In the first incident, a white powder was spread around the rubbish bins at the Chabad Student Centre on Wednesday, 17 May,
The second incident took place on Friday, 19 May, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, when two unidentified offenders placed further anti-Semitic letters and lit a fire.
Eli Brackman, the Chabad rabbi who runs the centre, said he believed the powder was thrown in an attempt to spread panic and fear, with people initially believing it might be a more dangerous substance. He said the centre was concerned but pledged not to be deterred by “displays of hate.”
“We have been touched by the reaction of the community and thankful for the response of the police and emergency services,” he said.
The attack raised concern among some community officials, including Layla Moran, a member of parliament representing Oxford.
“We cannot tolerate antisemitism of any kind in Oxford,” she said, calling the incident “shocking and deeply distressing.”
Tom Hayes, the Oxford city councillor for the district where the attack took place, described Oxford Chabad as “a hub of Jewish life in the city,” adding, “We deplore every act of antisemitism and stand with our Jewish community.”
Police have appealed for help from the public in trying to identify the culprits.