Window smashed in Jewish Centre on Friday night

Image credit: Phyllis Chan

A window was broken in the Cambridge Lehrhaus, the Centre for Jewish Thought, on Friday night by an unknown person or group. The window has since been boarded up, but further information about the incident has not yet been made available.  The Gonville and Caius porters stated that nothing was heard at the college at the time of the incident.

The Lehrhaus, in the centre of town on Trinity Street, delivers academic courses and seminars to those interested in Jewish texts, and has been open since 2013. It is an important aspect of the Jewish community within Cambridge, also offering resources for students and children.

The Cambridge University Jewish Society gave the following comment following the incident: "We were sorry to hear about damage to the Cambridge Lehrhaus. While we hope the incident was random, some residents will be taking extra precautions, and we hope that students remain confident that Cambridge continues to be a safe and welcoming place for the Jewish student community".

The cause of this incident is currently unclear, although Rabbi Leuven cited anti-semitic motivations in his comment: “With anti-semitism rife in the Labour party and the rascist [sic] xenophobia unleashed by Brexit, we as Jews feel terrified that Europe may no longer be a safe place for Jews. We must never forget what happened on this continent just 70 years ago which started with vandalism of Jewish shop fronts in Germany”.  He has since clarified to Varsity that his comment was sarcastic and intended as a test for reporters.

Cambridge Universities Labour Club have made the following statement on the issue: "We at CULC are saddened by the act of vandalism against Cambridge Lehrhaus. We are deeply troubled by the possibility that anti-Semitism motivated the attack. We recognise that anti-Semitism is a serious problem in society and in our party. We in CULC are committed to fighting that trend, making Cambridge and the Labour Party a safe space for Jewish people. We believe Labour – as the party of human rights, equality, and anti-fascism – must be at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism. We pass on our condolences to Cambridge Lehrhaus and hope the perpetrators are brought to justice." 

This article was updated at 12:10pm 06/05 to inculde the comments of the Cambridge Universities Labour Club's comment.

This article was updated at 12:41pm 06/05 to include the Rabbi's elaboration on his inital comment.

The police have been contacted, but were unavailable for comment at the time.  


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