Both universities immediately launched investigations.
Penn officials told the Daily Pennsylvanian that their investigation had led to no suspects.
Temple, however, obtained security footage that revealed potential suspects, Hoffman said. University police and city police are attempting to identify the culprits, he said.
Both schools contacted the local Anti-Defamation League.
"Two incidents don't make a pattern," cautioned Barry Morrison, Anti-Defamation League regional director. He referred to the incidents as "isolated" and very likely unrelated.
He said that of the 1,200 anti-Semitic incidents reported nationwide over a year, a very small fraction occur on college campuses. Locally, there were "very few," he said. The 1,200 incidents include both criminal and noncriminal acts, including assaults, property damage, and slurs.
Both universities responded "exceptionally well" to the incidents, Morrison said.
"Incidents like this just won't be tolerated by Temple University," Hoffman said. "They threaten the values upon which Temple was founded."
A spokeswoman at Penn declined comment.
According to the Daily Pennsylvanian, an employee of Penn Hillel's dining hall reported seeing the swastika in the elevator, typically is used by vendors and Hillel and the staff of Bon Appetit, which runs a kosher dining hall, not by students.
Maureen Rush, Penn's vice president for public safety, told the Daily Pennsylvanian that Bon Appetit volunteered to have its staff members undergo sensitivity training after the incident, even though there was no indication any of their staff had anything to do with the graffiti.
Other area universities have faced problems on campus. The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is investigating a complaint last year that alleged that students at Rutgers University were subjected to harassment and different treatment because of their Jewish heritage and that the university permitted a hostile environment to exist, according to a spokesman for the department. The complaint was filed by the Zionist Organization of America.
The spokesman said the case remained under investigation.
Rutgers, in a statement, rebutted the claims.
"The university has made clear in its response to the [Education Department] that the ZOA's allegations are false," the statement said, "and do not reflect the true environment of inclusiveness and a free exchange of ideas that exists at Rutgers University."
Contact Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @ssnyderinq.