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Community Blog Message from the President

By Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
star of david pattern

October 8, 2023 | 23 Tishrei 5784

Dear Hebrew College community,

I write to you with a very heavy heart.

Yesterday morning, as Jews all over the world were celebrating Shabbat and the final hours of this sacred holiday season, we woke to news of brutal, horrifying, coordinated attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas.

The news has been harrowing and heartbreaking and it is still unfolding.

We pray for comfort for those who are grieving, healing for those who are wounded, relief for those who are sick with worry over missing loved ones, and a safe return home for those who have been kidnapped. We pray for the soldiers who have been called to service in Israel’s defense.

In this moment of anguish, fear, and grief for the people of Israel, we gather to express solidarity and to seek comfort in community.

There will be two opportunities for us to gather tomorrow.

Monday, October 9, 9:00 a.m.
Mascott Beit Midrash, 1860 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02466
We will come together for a campus-wide gathering for solidarity, prayer, silence, and song.

Monday, October 9, 12:00 p.m.
Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common
We will join the Greater Boston Community for a community-wide gathering, co-sponsored by CJP, JCRC, IAC, Hebrew College, and many other community organizations throughout New England.


Our thoughts are with loved ones, with members of our extended Hebrew College community who live in Israel, and with all those impacted by this ongoing situation. We are holding in our hearts our current students who are studying in Jerusalem this year. We have been in touch with each of them, and they are safe, though shaken.

In this time of still unfolding terror, may we turn toward one another with love.

In this time of unspeakable tragedy, may we choose our words carefully and with compassion.

In this time of ongoing uncertainty, may we resist the temptation to despair.

May we be brave enough to continue hoping — and working — for an end to this devastating cycle of violence.

.ה’ עז לעמו יתן, ה’ יברך את עמו בשלום

May God grant us strength and peace,

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
President, Hebrew College

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