WASHINGTON (AP) — Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, met with students and administrators at Cornell University on Thursday to offer support to the school’s Jewish community after threats of violence amid Israel’s war against Hamas.
Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a nationally elected U.S. leader, met with the university president, chief of police and other administrators, and hosted a roundtable with Jewish students in the same kosher dining hall that was forced to closed due to the threats.
A Cornell junior, Patrick Dai, was a arrested last month for allegedly leaving threatening messages on a Greek life website unaffiliated with the school in Ithaca, New York. They included posts calling for the deaths of Jewish people and threatening to “shoot up 104 west,” a university dining hall that caters predominantly to kosher diets and is next to the Cornell Jewish Center.
At a hearing Thursday, a federal magistrate judge in Syracuse, New York, granted, the government’s motion to detain Dai without bail, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The White House said students shared with Emhoff “their personal experiences and reactions to the threats of violence on campus” and that Emhoff “offered messages of hope and encouraged the students to take pride in their Jewish faith.”
Emhoff also discussed the Biden administration’s work to combat antisemitism and security in schools and on college campuses, the White House said.
The White House did not publicly advise about Emhoff’s travel in advance, as tensions on college campuses across remain elevated over the war.