In late November and early December, the city of Bloomington, Ind. stood behind the Jewish community after several acts of anti-Semitic vandalism. Rocks were thrown into the windows of the Chabad and Hillel houses at Indiana University. A glass case listing Jewish Studies faculty was broken. Swastikas were discovered in a student dorm. Then, just days before Hanukkah, Hebrew texts from the university and county libraries were taken to men’s bathrooms and urinated on. Bloomington—a college town—received national attention.
Bloomington’s quick and supportive response from the city’s university, police, city, and community leaders came from experience. Bloomington United, in particular, banded together after the mayor’s office approached local leaders to form a coalition in 1999. At the time, former Indiana University student and white supremacist Ben Smith went on a two-state shooting spree, which included the killing of a Korean graduate student at Indiana University. Read how the community responded to the recent acts.
On Jan. 27, Indiana Public Media's program, InFocus, discussed Diversity and Tolerance. Host Sara Wittmeyer interviewed Not In Our Town Executive Director Jonathan Bernstein on the show.