As Columbia protests continue, University rabbi warns Jewish students to stay home

NEW YORK — As pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University continue their protest against the war in Gaza, the school’s Orthodox Jewish rabbi sent a message to hundreds of Jewish students urging them to stay home to ensure their own safety.

Rabbi Elie Beuchler sent out a warning to more than 290 Jewish students via WhatsApp, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported on his social media feeds Sunday morning.

“The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy,” Beuchler wrote. “It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved.”

On, Tapper said Beuchler told him he sent the message “in response, he says, to ‘just horrific’ videos of ‘protesters on campus calling for Jews to be killed, just off-campus Jews being yelled at to ‘go back to Poland,' text messages I’m getting constantly from Jewish students about how unsafe they feel.'”

The New York Daily News has reached out to Beuchler for comment.

Protests have continued in defiance of university President Minouche Shafik’s decision to call in the NYPD to clear a campus encampment and arrest more than 100 demonstrators Thursday.

Shafik’s decision has met with intense criticism, with the Columbia and Barnard chapters of the American Association of University Professors saying in a statement Friday, “We have lost confidence in our president and administration, and we pledge to fight to reclaim our university.”

On Friday, a group of 97 Jewish students said they felt threatened by the protests surrounding the campus gates and asked the school administration to let them attend classes virtually.