Hundreds of crayfish – a type of shellfish – were dumped on a Jewish fraternity house at University of California’s Berkeley’s campus this past Shabbat, the first of the 2023 Fall Semester.
The shellfish were dumped across the property and thrown through a window of the Alpha Epsilon Pi frat house in a clear act of antisemitic vandalism.
Shellfish are expressly forbidden under the Jewish laws of kashrut.
“This incident was undoubtedly deliberate, aimed at intimidating our chapter, who take pride in their Jewish identity and actively support the campus Jewish community,” Alpha Epsilon Pi said in a statement posted to Instagram on Sunday.
“During the late hours, a group of six individuals approached our residence, strategically placing shellfish on our front door. They proceeded to throw it into the house and onto the front porch, also scattering it around the premises,” the statement said.
The national office of the fraternity paid for a cleaning crew to clear the mess away and pressure wash the premises.
“By singling out AEPi, the Jewish fraternity, and deliberately employing non-kosher food, this act of vandalism goes beyond mere destruction; it represents a calculated decision to target Jewish students within our campus community.”
The fraternity said it is working “in close collaboration” with both the Berkeley and university police as well as with the campus administration to identify the perpetrators.
“Our aim is to send a resolute message that such behavior will not find acceptance within our campus community. As aspiring leaders of the Jewish community, this incident has spurred our brotherhood to reassert our dedication to educating the campus community about our values and heritage,” the statement added.
“We are committed to working tirelessly to create a safer campus environment for Jewish students at UC Berkeley.”
The Berkeley Police Department confirmed to The Jewish News of Northern California that the incident is under investigation but declined to confirm it was being investigated as a hate crime. Campus police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.