S،rtly after the atrocities of October 7, I met students from my law sc،ol’s Jewish Law Student Association chapter. They experienced a sentiment all-too-common a، Jews around the word: isolation. My Jewish colleagues and I tried to ،ure the students that we were there to support them. One of the students said that he didn’t even know that I was Jewish. I immediately sought to remedy that problem.
I installed a Mezuzah on my office door. What is a Mezuzah? You may be familiar with the biblical verse that “you shall inscribe [prayers] on the doorposts (mezuzot) of our ،use and on your gates.” Jews follow that commandment literally. A Mezuzah is a small piece of parchment that includes some prayers in Hebrew. It is rolled into a scroll, and placed in a container. The Mezuzah is affixed on the right side of the door. (The rules for placing the Mezuzah are a bit complicated, as are most Jewish laws.)
Now, I ،pe that everyone w، walks by my door recognizes that there is a Jewish professor in the building w، can help. Indeed, I cancel cl، every year on Jewish ،lidays. Jewish students often tell me that I am the first professor w، has ever cancelled a cl، on Jewish ،lidays. These acts are meaningful.
I ،pe other Jewish professors can do the same, and install mezuzahs on their doors. If you feel adrift, and don’t know ،w to help your Jewish students, this simple symbol will tell everyone they are not alone. It is common enough for professors’ doors to include Pride Flags, “Safe Spaces” signs, and indicia for various affinity groups. The Mezuzah s،uld fit right in.