Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef October 8, 2007
University of California, Davis
Dear Chancellor Vanderhoef:
Last Thursday, October 4, 2007, the Jewish holiday booth display on campus, the Sukkah, was defaced and the phrases “Free Palestine” and “End Israel’s Occupation” were scribbled on the Sukkah wall and welcome sign. This incident is an act of hate, directed at Jewish people and Judaism. Last week the Jewish world celebrated the Holiday of Sukkot, the Festival of Tabernacles, the last of the three Jewish pilgrimage festivals. In addition to its historical significance, the holiday of Sukkot has a very unique agricultural importance. Sukkot is the harvest festival and is referred to as, the Festival of Ingathering.
In honor of the holiday’s historical significance, Jews are commanded to dwell in temporary shelters, referred to as a Sukkot (singular, Sukkah). For the last five years Chabad of Davis has erected a Sukkah on campus (east side of the Quad) without any incident. This Sukkah reminds Jewish students that the holiday of Sukkot is here and offers them an opportunity to use the Sukkah.
The defacing of the campus Sukkah saddens us. The Sukkah is a religious symbol that has nothing to do with the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This act is an attack on every Jew in the community. We are asking that you will insist on a full investigation, and we will be waiting to learn about the action taken. We also hope that you will speak out against such acts in order to educate about the meaning of the campus principles of community so that similar event will not repeat.
Thank you for your concern
Moshe Rosenberg, D.Sc.
Professor and Specialist, Dairy Technology and Engineering
Head, UC Davis Chapter Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Michael J. Singer Ph.D.
Professor of Soil Science
David Siegel M.D., M.P.H.
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Medicine