Thursday, January 20, 2022
Dear campus community,
I write again at a difficult moment. We continue to wrestle with multiple pandemics, including an Omicron-driven surge in COVID-19 and another incident of violence this time directed at a Jewish community engaged in prayer at a temple in in Texas. Our thoughts are with Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and Congregation Beth Israel and also with our Jewish students, colleagues and local community. Antisemitic rhetoric and acts have increased dramatically and the incident in Texas affirms the very real fears of Jewish communities in the U.S. It should not be “an act of courage” to engage in prayer. San Francisco State stands in solidarity with our Jewish communities to denounce violence and antisemitism.
The Division of Equity & Community Inclusion is available to offer support, identify resources and sponsor educational programming for students and faculty. SF Hillel, an organization focused on enriching Jewish life on campus and which has been our local partner in combatting antisemitism, is also available to offer support. Students and employees are encouraged to report incidents of antisemitism to the Bias Incident Education Team or, for complaints that may violate Title IX or Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation policies, to Equity Programs and Compliance.
Sadly, as we have all witnessed and as Rabbi Cytron-Walker said in his remarks, acts of violence have occurred not only in synagogues and mosques but also in schools and public areas. He credited the active-shooter trainings he received with minimizing the loss of life. I urge all to review the California State University’s online active shooter training. As we return to in-person instruction and teaching, our Division of Campus Safety is available to offer campus-specific trainings. It pains me deeply to write this but the normalization of hatred and violence in the U.S. leaves us all vulnerable.
Today we stand in solidarity with our Jewish students and colleagues to denounce hatred and violence targeting Jewish communities. I am proud of the work that SF State has been doing to combat antisemitism on campus, and we will continue working to ensure that Jewish students and colleagues feel welcome on campus.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.