Virginia Tech rallies against swastikas left at Jewish center

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Photos by Anaika Miller
Rabbi Zvi Zweibel, co-director of the Chabad Librescu Jewish Student Center, spoke at a rally Monday which was held after leaflets depicting swastikas were left on the Center’s lawn Saturday.

Several hundred people attended a rally at Virginia Tech Monday afternoon to show support for local Jewish community members after leaflets depicting swastikas were left on the lawn of the Chabad Librescu Jewish Student Center Saturday.


Some rally attendees held signs offering messages of support and unity.

Rabbi Zvi Zweibel said he found approximately 100 fliers at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, a day after the Center announced it would host Holocaust survivor Rabbi Nissen Mangel at Virginia Tech on April 24.

Attendees sign a solidarity banner after community leaders, including Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands, spoke out against Saturday’s act.

Mangel was invited to participate in an event that will commemorate Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescualso a Holocaust survivorwho was killed during the April 17, 2007 attack while blocking the gunman from entering his classroom, allowing enough time for all but one of his students to safely escape.

While Zweibel said he was stunned by Saturdays act, he also said it was important to not respond from a place of anger.

Attendees look on as the HokieBird signs a solidarity banner that read “#HokiesStandTogether.”

The way to combat darkness is with light,Zweibel told rally attendees.

Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands also spoke and encouraged the crowd to speak up when they see injustice.

Over and above laws, theres a sense of community and the responsibilities of being a member of that community,Sands said.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust condemned the act at the rally, calling it heinousand said it was an affront to the entire community.

When you dump ignorant trash on a lawn up the street, youre dumping it on my lawn,Foust said.

Foust said there is an ongoing investigation into the incident.

Many attendees left messages for Virginia Tech’s Jewish community on a solidarity banner after the rally.

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