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University offers condolences after Pittsburgh tragedy; campus gathering planned Nov. 5

The following letter is being distributed to Princeton students on Monday, Oct. 29, offering condolences to all those affected by the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Students, many of whom are off campus during fall break, are invited to attend a Nov. 5 gathering on campus to honor those who died. More than 50 people attended a vigil held on campus Sunday. The letter is from W. Rochelle Calhoun, vice president for campus life; Jill Dolan, dean of the college; and Sarah-Jane Leslie, dean of the Graduate School.

October 29, 2018

Dear Princeton Students,

Last night, Rabbi Julie Roth, Rabbi Eitan Webb and President Eisgruber gathered with more than fifty members of the Princeton community at a vigil organized to mourn the deaths and celebrate the lives of the eleven people murdered in the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

Our hearts go out to those directly affected by this horrific act of violence and hatred, as well as to all members of the Jewish community both at Princeton and around the world.

The Anti-Defamation League reports that anti-Semitic incidents increased significantly in 2016 and again in 2017 and said that the shooting at the Tree of Life is the most violent anti-Semitic attack in our nation’s history.

We condemn this heinous act as well as all violence and hatred directed at individuals and groups based on their identities.  Acts like these affect us all; they are an affront to our core values and they shake us at our very foundation.

Yet at times like this we must also find ways to stand together in the face of tragedies prompted by hatred and to forge a deeper, stronger, always more authentically inclusive Princeton.

All members of the University community are invited to gather together on Monday, November 5th, 5:00 p.m. on the Frist North Lawn (1879 Lawn) to mourn the shooting victims from the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh.  At times when hatred tries to atomize us, we need to show our solidarity as a community united against anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred.

In addition, Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS) is open and available if you need support.  We urge you to schedule an initial appointment online or to just walk in if you need to see someone urgently.  You can also speak with a counselor after hours by calling 609-258-3141.  Deans and Chaplains at the Office of Religious Life are also available for counsel at 609-258-3047.

In the Hebrew tradition, people wish one another “Shalom,” which means hello, good-bye, and peace.  We, wish all of you shalom:  May we find peace and harmony for each of us, for the Princeton community, and for the world.

In sorrow and solidarity,

W. Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life
Jill S. Dolan, Dean of the College
Sarah-Jane Leslie, Dean of the Graduate School