Jewish Studies lecturer reports man performing Nazi salute near Fiedler Hillel


Colin Boyle/The Daily Northwestern

A Jewish Studies lecturer said he was walking near Fiedler Hillel, 629 Foster St., when a car pulled up near him and a man performed the Nazi salute after asking if he was Jewish.

Julia Jacobs, Editor in Chief

A Jewish Studies lecturer at Northwestern reported that he was walking near Fiedler Hillel on the evening of Nov. 23 when a man in a passing vehicle asked him if he was Jewish, then raised his right arm in a Nazi salute and said “Heil Hitler.”

The lecturer said a black SUV pulled up near him at about 5:30 p.m. when the man, who was in the passenger’s side, asked where the Hillel building was. The lecturer said he pointed to the building at 629 Foster St. After the lecturer affirmed that he is Jewish, he said the man leaned out the window and performed the anti-Semitic salute.

Michael Simon, executive director of Hillel, said the lecturer notified him of the incident that evening. Simon said he asked University Police to do more frequent patrols of Hillel and other buildings with connections to Judaism, including the Tannenbaum Chabad House and the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house. Simon called it an act of “blatant anti-Semitism,” adding that this kind of incident is rare in Evanston.

UP deputy chief Gloria Graham said the extra patrols at Hillel will continue until at least the end of Winter Break. Graham said UP reviewed video footage of the area, but it was too dark to identify either of the men in the car. UP also notified Evanston Police Department about the incident, she said.

“We do everything we can to try to help restore the feeling of safety the person who reported this feels,” Graham said.

Simon said he reached out to top administrators at the University, who he said expressed concern and asked if there was any way they could be of help.

The Southern Poverty Law Center compiled reports of 867 hate crimes that had occurred in the 10 days following the election. On Nov. 22, seven Evanston Public Library books related to Islam and the Quran were found defaced with Islamophobic, homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist language.

“In the post-election environment, I think that’s where (there) becomes another layer of concern,” Simon said.

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