Joint Statement on Antisemitic Chalkings at UW-Madison

September 13, 2022

Contacts: Alan Klugman, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Madison: 760-218-0563
Michael Blumenfeld, Executive Director, Wisconsin Jewish Conference: 608-575-8018

We are appalled that on the first day of classes at UW Madison, the campus community awoke to find multiple sidewalk chalkings around campus that targeted several Jewish student groups labeling them as “racist,” “genocidal” and invoking the antisemitic trope of “having blood on their hands.”

As Wisconsin faith and community organizations committed to fostering an environment of belonging for all people, we stand against all forms of hatred and bigotry, and today we must reaffirm that we stand against antisemitism.

This hateful speech scrawled anonymously under the cover of night falls outside the bounds of dialogue. The demonization of the Jewish community, and specifically Jewish students and their Jewish organizations is a direct assault on Jewish identity. This is especially dangerous given the recent increase of antisemitic incidents both on the UW Madison campus, and across the nation.

We thank the UW Administration for their statement naming the antisemitism that occurred. We also call on the UW Administration to conduct an investigation — it is important to identify whether a UW student organization, individual students or an outside group is responsible, and ensure that any necessary education and accountability can be pursued. It is essential that the UW Administration address the full inclusion of all Jewish campus community members as an integral part of their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Hatred towards any identity group has no place on campus, and hatred targeting Jews is no exception.

We must redouble our efforts to call out hatred and bigotry of all forms and stand together as a diverse community to support any marginalized group that is targeted by hate.


(Signature list updated 9-21-22)

Advent Lutheran of Madison Christian Community, Rev. Nick Utphall

Anti-Defamation League, David Goldenberg, Midwest Regional Director

Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Wisconsin, Jessica Boling, Edgar Lin, MJ Wong Engel, Kabby Hong, Francesca Hong, Erik Kennedy, Edgar Lin, Gaochi Vang, Lorna Young, Executive Committee Members

Bay Bridge, Anne O’Connor, Jenn Koop Olsta, and Kathy Wurzer, Cofounders

Circle Sanctuary, Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister

ElevAsian, Erik Kennedy, Jessica Boling, Co-founders

Filipino American Association of Wisconsin, Angelica Varona Camara, President

Fitchburg Memorial United Church of Christ, Rev. Kristin Gorton

Forward Latino, Darryl Morin, National President

Janesville UCC, First Congregational Church, Rev. Dr. Tanya Sadagopan, Minister

Japanese American Citizens League, Wisconsin Chapter, Ron Kuramoto, President

Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Andrea Bernstein, Associate Director

Jewish Federation of Madison, Alan Klugman, Executive Director

Jewish Social Services of Madison, Kai Yael Gardner Mishlove, Executive Director

Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, Rev. Cindy Crane, Director

Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Miryam Rosenzweig, President and CEO

Milwaukee Zen Center, Rev. Reirin Gumbel

Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center, Samantha Abramson, Executive Director

National Council of Jewish Women, Milwaukee, Sue Strait, Co-President

9to5 Wisconsin, National Association of Working Women, Wisconsin Chapter, Christina Thor, Wisconsin State Director

Organization of Chinese Americans, Wisconsin Chapter, Betty Chan, President

Pres House Rev. Erica Liu, Pastor & Director of Campus Ministry

Pres House, Nii Addo Abrahams, Associate Director of Campus Ministry

Roman Catholic Diocese of Madison, Most Reverend Donald J. Hying, Bishop of Madison

St. Francis House Episcopal Student Center, The Rev. Bobbi Kraft

St Mark's Lutheran Church, Pastor Lisa Nelson

Shaarei Shamayim, Madison, Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman

Sikh Temple of WI, Pardeep Singh Kaleka

Temple Beth El Madison, Rabbi Jonathan Biatch

The Crossing (UW-Madison), Karla Schmidt, Campus Minister

We Are Many-United Against Hate, Masood Akhtar, Founder and President

Wisconsin Catholic Conference, Barbara Sella, Executive Director

Wisconsin Council of Churches, Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director

Wisconsin Council of Rabbis, Rabbi Steven Adams, President

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Reverend Larry Sexe Retired ELCA pastor, President of the Board, Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, Executive Director

Wisconsin Jewish Conference, Michael Blumenfeld, Executive Director

Wisconsin University Union, Karl Broman, President

Worker Justice Wisconsin, Rebecca Meier-Rao, Executive Director

Download statement (PDF)

Response from Chancellor Mnookin
On September 16, UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin sent a thoughtful response to our statement.
Read Response >