CSUN Community Gathers for Israel

  • Two men stand side by side on the grass, with students in the background.

    Matt Baram, (far left) executive director of Hillel 818, addresses those gathered in the Sierra Quad, Oct. 11, 2023 as Rabbi Chaim Brook (center) from CSUN Chabad and students listen. Photo by Sonia Gurrola.

  • Two students stand together, one carrying a blue and white Israeli flag, the other student wearing a large Israeli flag around her shoulders.

    Participants stood together and prayed, while many wiped away tears at the gathering in the Sierra Quad, Oct. 11, 2023. Many carried Israel's flag, the distinctive blue and white banner with the Star of David in the center, while some wore the flag draped around their shoulders. Photo by Sonia Gurrola.

  • Two women stand with their arms around each other. One woman wears the blue and white Israeli flag around her shoulders.

    Students comfort each other at the "Stand with Israel" event in the Sierra Quad, Oct. 11, 2023. Photo by Sonia Gurrola.

  • Two students stand by a tree and hug each other, while another student wearing an Israeli flag, looks on.

    Students hug each other during the "Stand with Israel" event on Oct. 11, 2023. Photo by Sonia Gurrola.

  • Student wearing a teffillin with black straps on his arm stands with Rabbi Chaim Brook.

    CSUN Chabad's Rabbi Chaim Brook helps a student with his Tefillin, which is a set of black boxes with straps that is worn for prayers. The boxes contain scrolls of parchment, inscribed with verses from the Torah. Photo by Sonia Gurrola.

Students, faculty and staff members gathered under the trees in the Sierra Quad for the “Stand with Israel” event on Oct. 11, 2023. It was a show of support for Israel, Israeli citizens and each other following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants at multiple sites in Israel. In the initial attack, more than 1,200 people in Israel were killed — among them women and children. More than 150 people, including Americans, were taken hostage. At publication time, Israeli officials reported more than 1,400 people had died and 3,400 were injured. In Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported more than 2,700 deaths and 9,700 injured following strikes from Israeli forces.

Matt Baram, the executive director of Hillel 818, addressed the crowd that grew to around 100 people during the lunchtime gathering. “It has been an unimaginable, difficult, horrible few days,” Baram said. “We’re all in mourning, we’re all in shock.”

Students stood with their arms around each other, some wiping away tears, as group leaders led prayers and songs, including Israel’s national anthem. Hatikvah.

Baram told those gathered that hard times are ahead, and urged people to reach out for support if they should need it.

“There will be more Israelis who lose their lives and there will be more innocent civilians and children in Gaza who lose their lives,” he said.

The gathering was organized by Hillel 818, Chabad CSUN, as well as Students Supporting Israel,the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi sorority and the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. See more from the event in photos.

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