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Synagogue Attack in California

April 29, 2019 4:56 PM
Dear Members of the UMBC Community,

We are saddened once again this morning after witnessing the anti-Semitic attack on the Congregation Chabad in Poway, California. That this attack occurred on the last day of the Passover holiday and only six months after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh heightens the pain of loss and the terror inflicted on this community. Furthermore, as our local Baltimore community has also experienced substantial violence this weekend, our thoughts are with the families of those impacted by the city shootings.

In the face of continued hate crimes, terror attacks, and violence in our community and across the world, we must remind ourselves to believe in the power of resilience. We must also continue to confront the tide of hate and prejudice that still runs strong in our country and around the globe. We must educate ourselves about and stand in solidarity with our neighbors of all backgrounds who are targeted by hate.

After the shooting, Chabad of Poway Rabbi Goldstein said, “A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. We need a lot of light now.” We encourage you to join our UMBC Hillel community at the annual Freedom Seder this Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. We are proud of this UMBC tradition, which celebrates our commitment to inclusive excellence and all types of diversity. This year’s theme is fittingly The Consequence of Hate, and we know our UMBC community will be strengthened by having this special space and time to grapple with the recent tragedies in our nation and around the world. Those with questions should reach out to UMBC Hillel Rabbi Jeremy Fierstien, rabbijeremy@umbc.edu.

We wish strength and comfort to our students, colleagues, friends, and family in the Jewish community around the world. As always, UMBC community members seeking to learn more about these issues either personally or in community are encouraged to contact the Mosaic Center at 410-455-2686, for educational opportunities or upcoming programming. Those seeking more substantial support are encouraged to contact the UMBC Counseling Center at 410-455-2472. 

President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous
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