Dear Members of the Penn Community,
Today I learned that a small number of Penn staff members received vile, disturbing antisemitic emails that threatened violence against members of our Jewish community, specifically naming Penn Hillel and Lauder College House. These messages also included hateful language, targeting the personal identities of the recipients. Penn’s Division of Public Safety was immediately notified and responded. Penn Police also notified the FBI of this potential hate crime, and a joint investigation is underway.
Based on these emails, Penn’s Division of Public Safety conducted thorough safety sweeps of Penn Hillel and Lauder College House and found no credible threat at this time. Penn Police will remain on site until further notice and has increased security presence throughout our campus.
At a time when campuses across the country are being targeted with these types of threats, my first and highest priority is the safety and security of our community. Threats of violence are not tolerated at Penn and will be met with swift and forceful action. Penn Public Safety is working urgently with the FBI to identify the individual or individuals who are responsible for these hateful, threatening emails and to ensure they are apprehended and punished to the fullest extent of the law. As I shared last week, Penn Police and Allied security continue to provide increased security to Penn Hillel, the Katz Center, Lubavitch House, and other religious and cultural spaces, as well as at all rallies, protests, vigils, and other campus gatherings.
The perniciousness of antisemitic acts on our campus is causing deep hurt and fear for our Jewish students, faculty, and staff and shaking their sense of safety and belonging at Penn. This is intolerable. I condemn personally these vicious and hateful antisemitic acts and words.
Every member of the Penn community deserves to feel safe on our campus. If there is any threat to your physical safety or to the physical safety of a member of our community, please contact our 24/7 PennComm Emergency Call Center at 215-573-3333. A full listing of resources can be also found below.
M. Elizabeth Magill
Trustees University Professor and Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania
PennComm Emergency Call Center: 215-573-3333 (available 24/7)
Penn’s HELP Line: 215-898-HELP (available 24/7)
Special Services (within Division of Public Safety): 215-898-6600
Employee Assistance Program: 866-799-2329
Student Health and Counseling: 215-746-9355
Student Intervention Services: 215-898-6081
Office of the Chaplain: 215-898-8456