Columbia University rabbi urges Jewish students to go home amid protests

Pro-Palestinian protesters march outside Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024. Officers cleared out a pro-Palestinian campus demonstration on April 18, a day after university officials testified about anti-Semitism before Congress.

Columbia University Rabbi urged Jewish students to go home due to "extreme antisemitism and anarchy".

Rabbi Elie Buechler told FOX 5 he sent a letter to students via WhatsApp stating: 

"It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved."

"*It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus.* No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school," Buechler said.

The Orthodox Union and the Orthodox Union-Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus issued a statement saying:

"What we are witnessing in and around campus is terrible and tragic. The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy."

NYC Mayor Eric Adams also released a statement in response to the ongoing protests saying:

"I am horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus — like the example of a young woman holding a sign with an arrow pointing to Jewish students stating ‘Al-Qasam’s Next Targets,’ or another where a woman is literally yelling ‘We are Hamas,’ or another where groups of students are chanting ‘We don’t want no Zionists here’ — and I condemn this hate speech in the strongest of terms. Supporting a terrorist organization that aims is to kill Jews is sickening and despicable."

According to the New York Post, another anti-Israel protest was held Saturday night on campus. One protester held up a sign suggesting that students waving Israeli flags should be the next target of Hamas terrorists.

RELATED: Over 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested at Columbia University

This comes after several students and pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets again Friday following the pro-Palestinian protest encampment at Columbia University. 

On Thursday, the NYPD removed a pro-Palestinian protest encampment at Columbia University and arrested more than 100 demonstrators, including Isra Hirsi, who is the daughter of Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Another protest is expected on Sunday.

With Passover coming up, the NYPD will also monitor the most recent events in Israel. There are currently no credible threats in NYC at this time.

"We will continue to deploy resources to houses of worship and sensitive locations throughout the city," the NYPD said. "We will also continue to work hand in hand with our law enforcement partners, houses of worship, and community leaders to keep New York City safe."

This story is developing. Stay with FOX 5 NY for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.