In letter to campus, president calls for continued focus on Haiti relief

Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz

The earthquake that devastated Haiti in January prompted an immediate response from the Brandeis community. Even as we extended emotional support and comfort to those members of the Brandeis family who experienced loss, there was action on the part of students, faculty and staff, who responded as they have to earlier tragedies such as those resulting from Katrina, the terrorist attack in Mumbai, the earthquake in Pakistan among others.

I have been very encouraged by the Brandeis Haiti Relief Effort, and the collaboration among members of our community to assist Haitians in their time of need. We should all remember that in the months ahead, as media coverage of the Haitian tragedy subsides, the daunting challenge of rebuilding that nation will remain just as immediate and compelling.

There are many ways for students, faculty, staff and alumni to assist in this effort, from financial contributions to personal service through organizations such as Partners in Health or Hope for Haiti. In a wonderful example of the way in which Brandeis students have responded, Shaina Gilbert ’10 enlisted the help of several organizations, as well as other Brandeis students, to create Empower Through Education (ETE) Camp, a free summer day camp for children in Hinche, Haiti, designed to guide and support impoverished young Haitians through the development of academic skills and self confidence.

The members of the Brandeis community have always taken action, collectively and as individuals, to answer the call for social justice and aid to those less fortunate. I urge you to participate in whatever way you choose in this important initiative. As Haitians look to the future and a brighter day for their nation, I know that the Brandeis community will respond as it always has.


Jehuda Reinharz

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