Office of the President

Statement on Israel and Support for Our Campus Community

Oct. 23, 2023

Dear Brandeis Community,

As the Israel-Hamas war enters its third week, I want to reiterate that Brandeis stands with Israel and against the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas.

Brandeis was founded by the American Jewish community, and while we are a secular school, we maintain close ties with our founding community and their values. Brandeis was among the first universities to condemn the attacks by Hamas, and we have, since the attacks on Oc. 7, supported Israel’s right to defend itself. This will not change.

We are also concerned about the situation in Gaza, and we recognize that Hamas is one terrorist faction and is not representative of the Palestinian people on the whole. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with all innocent civilians living in Israel and in Gaza, and we hope for an end to this conflict and a path to lasting peace.

Here on campus, I urge all of us to exercise compassion and civility in engaging with this issue in the classroom, in the dining hall, dorms, and across campus. Know that Brandeis is committed to free speech and encourages respectful dialogue, and we also prohibit threats to, or harassment of, any members of our community.

I want to express concern for everyone in our community who is struggling during this challenging time. There are Brandeisians who await news of their loved ones taken hostage, and I’ve heard from students who have been called to serve with the Israel Defense Forces. Others in our community mourn the loss of those closest to them across the region.

I remind everyone of the resources available to students, faculty and staff who are feeling the impact of current events and would benefit from support.

  • Students may reach out to the Brandeis Counseling Center 24-7, as well as the Dean of Students Office, and the International Students and Scholars Office. Community members may also contact Spiritual Life, individual campus clergy, or the Ombuds Office, which helps address difficult interpersonal situations and offers conflict resolution support.
  • Faculty and staff members may access Brandeis’ Employee Assistance Program (EAP), deans or Human Resources. The EAP provides in-person or virtual grief/crisis counseling sessions with a licensed therapist, as well as access to therapists, 24/7, through a variety of modalities. Our Occupational Health unit is also available, upon request, to provide additional education and resources to departments to address stress management and self-care support to employees.

Ron Liebowitz