PSU fraternity's menorah stolen twice, vandalized ahead of Hanukkah

Officials say a menorah was vandalized at the PSU Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house. (WJAC)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Pennsylvania State University condemned an act of vandalism at a fraternity house. Officials say a menorah was vandalized at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house, a Jewish fraternity, on Thursday.

State College police continue to investigate. Now the search is on for who is behind it.

According to police, the menorah was stolen again Saturday night and later returned. The second time, it wasn't damaged.

So far, officials say no suspects have been identified. They say they're now reviewing surveillance video.

"It's kind of crazy that this happened here,” PSU Zeta Beta Tau president Adam Schwartz said. “I mean, you hear it in the news and you never think it would actually happen to you, and it happened."

Schwartz says they're still in shock.

According to officials, it was taken from the property Thursday and later returned Friday with damage to two branches and the wiring of the 9-foot menorah.

This incident comes a month after the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.

"Due to recent events, that's why we got the menorah... to show strength and unity with the Jewish community," Schwartz said.

A menorah symbolizes light, wisdom and knowledge. They're used on the Jewish Festival of Lights, which begins Sunday.

On Saturday, the university released a statement, saying:

"We share in the feelings of hurt expressed by many members of the community. Today, and every day, we stand united with our Jewish friends, neighbors and colleagues. There is no place for hate in our community."

Schwartz says neither their fraternity nor the Jewish community will be silenced by this.

"We just want to show that hate won't stop us,” Schwartz said. “After the incident happened, we put it right back up."

On Sunday, they plan to host a community event to light the first candles of Hanukkah.

"University, students, people in the community,” Schwartz said. “We want people to come out to support, and we have some food inside for after."

Police are asking for anyone with information regarding these incidents to call State College police.

The lighting event is set to begin at 8 p.m. at the chapter house. Officials say they will increase police patrols in that area throughout the holidays.

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