The University had previously blocked comments on Jewish Holidays over antisemitismLouis Ashworth for Varsity

Cambridge University disabled comments on a recent Instagram post celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover after receiving a large number of hateful messages.

A short video posted on Monday (22/04) featured Rabbi Ben Baruch, the Rabbi for Cambridge Jewish Chaplaincy, explaining Passover, a festival celebrating the liberation of Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Cambridge University Jewish Society (JSoc) released a statement in response, expressing its “disappointment at the influx of hateful comments” the post has received, which “was meant to explain and celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover”.

JSoc’s statement included screenshots of several of the hateful messages, describing them as “antisemitic abuse”.

Rabbi Baruch also responded to the incident, saying on the Cambridge Jewish Chaplaincy account that it was “upsetting but not surprising that the comments needed to be disabled”.

JSoc also wrote that they were “not suprised” by the hateful comments, which they said are “indicative of the troubling rise in antisemitism, both online and in person, that Jewish students at Cambridge and across the country have experienced since the 7th of October”.

The society had previously condemned a “dramatic rise” in antisemitism in Cambridge following criticism of a motion by Caius JCR which called for “an immediate and permanent ceasefire” for failing to condemn Hamas.

This is not the first time the University has disabled its comments section due to backlash on an Instagram post.


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On 13 October 2023, a message from vice-chancellor Deborah Prentice showing support for students and staff affected by conflict in Israel and Gaza also had its comment section disabled.

A Cambridge University spokesperson told Varsity: “The University abhors antisemitism, Islamophobia and racism in any form.”

“We disabled comments on a recent post featuring Rabbi Ben Baruch celebrating Passover due to a number of antisemitic and personally abusive comments,” they added.

"We hugely value the support the Jewish Chaplaincy provides to our Jewish staff and students and know this has been upsetting for Ben and members of the Jewish community. We extend our solidarity and support to Ben and the Jewish community in Cambridge."