Brandeis, Yeshiva Universities Go to FBI Over Anti-Semitic Hate Crime

Thousands of photos of students and staff from Brandeis University and Yeshiva University were posted on a white nationalist website.

Brandeis, Yeshiva Universities Go to FBI Over Anti-Semitic Hate Crime

The FBI was contacted by officials from two universities after photos of hundreds of Jewish students and staff appeared on an anti-Semitic website.

The website is run by a white nationalist who openly advocates for “exterminating Jews and those who serve them,” reports The Daily Beast.

Students from Brandeis University outside Boston and Yeshiva University in New York City reported the photos to administration after finding them on the racist message board Vanguard News Network (VNN) Forum.

VNN is run by Alex Linder, a longtime member of the white nationalist movement who publicly supports the killing of Jewish people and praised the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year.

The photos were shared on VNN Forum by one of Linder’s followers who is listed as a “senior member.” The photos began in June 2018 to mock a Jewish journalist and then began focusing on Jewish women in general.

A few months later, he started paying attention to students from Yeshiva, a Modern Orthodox Jewish university, posting a total of 175 photos of students and staff.

Brandeis officials decided to contact the FBI after seeing the photos on Linder’s message board, according to a university spokesperson. In a letter addressed to the campus community, officials did not believe that there was a threat to campus safety or to the people in the photos.

“The content of the online forum targeting members of our community is appalling and offensive. Targeting individuals on the basis of their religion, ethnicity or race is inexcusable,” said Josh Joseph, senior vice president of Yeshiva.  “While this situation is obviously disturbing, our Security team has investigated and found no direct threat to the individuals appearing in the photos or to Yeshiva University.”

As of Tuesday morning, the content was taken down from the forum.

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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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