It’s called the Hillel of Silicon Valley, and it serves students at San Jose State, Santa Clara, Foothill and De Anza. On the night of Oct 3, someone burned an outdoor structure called a sukkah that was being used in the Feast of Tabernacles.
Sukkot festivities ended early for Jewish students at San Jose State University after someone burned the outdoor shelter – known as a sukkah – that marks the Feast of the Tabernacles.
A student arrived Wednesday morning and found the sukkah – made of a metal frame and nylon walls – melted, said Sue Maltiel, executive director of Hillel of Silicon Valley.
Police and Hillel officials believe the fire was deliberately set but was not a hate crime. There were no notes or messages indicating anything other than vandalism, said Sgt. Mike Santos with university police, noting that the campus is downtown and vagrants often sleep on Hillel’s patio.
The Hillel was also broken into in late August.
Last week, two people attempted to break into to Hillel of Silicon Valley. Police suspect they were trying to steal a few new items that were recently purchased for Hillel. They were probably turned on by the empty boxes sitting outside of the house in the dumpster. Thankfully, nothing was taken. The alarm went off seconds after the perpetrators entered the house, but unfortunately, damage was done to the window overlooking the Hillel kitchen and dining room. “It’s just such a shame this had to happen just as the year started,” said one student.
So that’s twice in about 6 weeks that the same Jewish center has been harmed. One attack could be chalked up to any number of fairly mundane origins, but two in six weeks? As Cinnamon Stillwell notes, there has been an uptick in antisemitic activity on campuses that the Hillel serves.