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University statement on attack in California

The worldwide Northwestern University community joins together in condemning yesterday’s act of terror against the Chabad of Poway in California. This attack on a community of faith, like others before it, is outrageous, inhuman and hateful. It took innocent life and violated values of diversity, inclusion and acceptance of all people — and their right to worship freely and in peace.

Our community joins others around the world in expressing prayers and support for all who have been affected. We would like to share the following statement released last night from Northwestern’s Hillel community, which includes information on enhanced security, and resources available on our campuses.

From Northwestern Hillel

Our hearts were broken at the end of Passover, the Festival of Freedom, by the news of yet another horrific attack that took place during religious services, (Saturday) morning at the Chabad of Poway near San Diego.

Our pain is deepened by the fact that just one week ago, as this Passover holiday began, hundreds of people were killed in attacks on churches and other sites in Sri Lanka. It is further deepened as we reflect on the terror attacks on other places of worship in recent months, including the mosque attacks in New Zealand last month and the attack in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last October.

Our continuing deep concern for the security of Jewish communities around the United States and the world is intertwined with our broader worry for other faith communities and all individuals and communities that are targeted by hate and fear.

The safety of our community is always our top priority. We are working with officials at Northwestern University, the Northwestern and Evanston police departments, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago to ensure the safety of our community.

Please know that we are available anytime for students and others. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Michael Simon at or 617-519-8678, or Rabbi Brandon Bernstein at or 646-245-0147, via text, email or phone.

Additionally, we are in touch with the Tannenbaum Chabad House in Evanston in response to Saturday's attack, and we will share any information about supporting their community and the Chabad of Poway as it becomes available.

We encourage you to take care of yourselves and your friends and loved ones, and to be in touch if you have questions or would like to connect.

With love, and l’shalom (toward peace),

Michael Simon, executive director, Northwestern Hillel
Abby Shay, student president, Hillel exec board
Rabbi Brandon Bernstein, campus rabbi

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