The shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, has sent a hateful anti-semitic message all across the United States. Members of Jewish communities nationwide have felt threatened by this horrid act of violence, including the Jewish community at UConn. In times of hate and violence toward a certain race, ethnicity, or religion, it is crucial that communities unite in support of social justice and acceptance, to hinder the spread of hate.
Support of UConn faculty regarding the shooting sends a reassuring message to all students, especially members of the Jewish community, to promote safety acceptance on campus. From the Diversity and Inclusion office, Interim Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Dana Wilder, spoke at a Vigil held on Sunday at Hillel and gave his support to all those present and affected by this recent tragedy. President Susan Herbst sent a very heartfelt email Monday morning expressing support for the Jewish community on campus and mentioned that the UConn community needs “to hold together as an active community focused on social justice, and cannot feel debilitated or worn down by the grueling, near constant acts of hatred, racism and intolerance.” Along with this comforting email from the university president, UConn Counseling and Mental Health Services came to Hillel on Monday to speak with any students who want to discuss their concerns or feelings regarding the Tree of Life shooting. As an institution, UConn faculty has done an excellent job supporting students who may be emotionally burdened by this tragedy and expressing the importance of social acceptance, especially within the community.
As for the student community, UConn has embodied this idea and shown student support of the Jewish community on campus sends the same comforting message to members of the community who are affected by the Tree of Life shooting in any way. The Vigil held on Sunday Oct. 28 at the Hillel house was attended by many members of different Jewish organizations on campus and other students who came to support the Jewish community at UConn. The wide attendance at the Vigil depicts the encouragement of diversity and social acceptance on campus.