Letter to the Editor: Days after antisemitic violence, a call to gather in solidarity

As our Jewish communities mourn the loss of Lori Gilbert-Kaye, killed Saturday in her synagogue by a white supremacist shooter, we as Jewish students at Northwestern find ourselves struck both by grief and urgency. Perhaps the feeling of imminent danger should be more familiar to us after the past year and broader history of white supremacist violence, which is foundational to our country and to our campus. In searching for what to do next, we find ourselves unsatisfied with sympathetic Facebook posts and outraged articles decrying yet another shooting in a holy place of worship. We find ourselves called to action.

Gathering with other Jews on campus can offer space for ritual, learning and community. The October vigil at the Rock, which honored the eleven victims of the Tree of Life massacre, was a moving and powerful event to witness. We know that gathering in a community is even more important because in moments of pain and fear, it is easy to close in or to shut ourselves off. And yet we know that our safety as Jews is bound up in the safety of others. White supremacist violence, whether in San Diego, Pittsburgh, Charlottesville or Christchurch, targets communities of color even and especially as it singles out Jews for standing with other marginalized groups.

In recognition of the painful events of this past weekend, we hope that Northwestern communities can come together to stand against white supremacist violence and injustice, no matter its form, no matter what community is harmed. As a space for both celebration and for healing, we invite Jewish and non-Jewish students to attend Monday night’s Freedom Seder in Parkes Hall at 7:30pm. This event, rooted in the notion that we must fight for collective liberation of Black, Jewish, Palestinian, and all oppressed peoples, is being revitalized this year after five years without a Freedom Seder on our campus. We believe it to be more important than ever to call for solidarity between our communities and to renew our fight against white supremacy, even and especially after moments of tragedy.

We believe that now is a time for Jewish students to rise above campus politics and to remind ourselves, in the spirit of Passover and with the memory of those lost to white supremacist violence in our hearts, that none of us are free until we all are free. We hope you will join us at the Freedom Seder.

Jess Schwalb, WCAS ’19
Seth Torres, WCAS ’18
Kaitlyn Rubinstein, WCAS ’21
Madison Fiedler, SoC ’19
Aliana Ruxin, WCAS ’19
Dora Grossman-Weir, SoC ’20
Kori Alston, SoC ’18
Julia Ansolabehere, Bienen/WCAS ’20
Hannah Merens, SESP ’20
Andrew Pollack, SESP ’19
Jody Bailet, SoC ’19
Laila Francis, WCAS ’19
Alison Albelda WCAS ’21
Gabby Plotkin, WCAS ’21
Sarah Kollender, WCAS ’21
Miranda Heaner, WCAS ’19
Marissa Page, Medill ’18
Moriah Lavey, WCAS ’19
Amanda Gordon, Medill ’20
Katie Rothstein, Medill ’19
Adam Chanes, WCAS ’19
Molly Glick, Medill ’20
Elena Sucharetza, Medill ’18
Abigail Hodonicky, WCAS ’19
Danielle Kosover, WCAS ’21
Rachel Doherty, WCAS ’19
Erica Bank, Bienen ’20
Benjamin Trachtenberg ’19
Talia Waxman, WCAS, ‘19
Amanda Lifford, SoC ‘20