BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A man has been arrested and charged in the case of an act of anti-Semitism in Bloomington.
Lately, there has been a problem with Mezuzah’s being stolen off the front porches of homes in Bloomington where Jewish people live. A Mezuzah is a decorative case that contains a Hebrew verse from the Torah and is usually placed in the door frame of a Jewish home.
In this particular case, police say Jeremy Chung Ho Park Patzelt stole a Mezuzah off the front door of a home over the weekend and then burned it. This isn’t the only time this has happened, says Alvin Rosenfeld, a professor of Jewish studies at Indiana University.
“Last year continuing into this year, there have been some ugly incidents involving the stripping of Mezuzahs,” he told WISH-TV.
Rosenfeld is convinced such acts like what has taken place in Bloomington reflect growing anti-Semitism throughout the U.S.
“When the economy goes down, anti-Semitism goes up because outrageously Jews are blamed for that and all kinds of other things,” Rosenfeld said. “There is a great deal of hate on Twitter against Jews and others, and students just like anyone else spend endless hours on social media, being exposed to this stuff.”
Patzelt is scheduled for an initial court hearing in November. Right now he’s charged with criminal mischief.