From the Board and Staff of Hillel of Colorado

Life for Hillel of Colorado Jewish students was altered by the horrific terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7, 2023; we wrote about it the next day. Many of our Jewish students are feeling sadness and fear as subsequent events in the Middle East, around the world, and locally have contributed to a climate of instability on campus. Indeed, Jewish life worldwide has changed in ways we cannot yet know. What has not changed is that Hillel of Colorado will always stand in solidarity with our Jewish People and with the State of Israel as we continue to embrace our prime responsibility: helping keep our students proudly Jewish and safe from harm. The day after that fateful Shabbat we assured our 2,000 Hillel of Colorado students:

As the reality of the violence in Israel unfolds, Hillel of Colorado’s primary concern is the safety of and support for our students. Hillel Houses on our campuses are open to you around the clock and staffed additional hours as listed. Check your Instagram feeds for evolving details on ongoing Hillel programs and support services available from your university, the Jewish community, and Hillel.

Every day since Hillel of Colorado has reinforced that message so our families know we are here for them.


We abhor antisemitic attacks at college campuses across the country and are dedicated to keeping Colorado’s campuses free from such hatred; university leadership is of course key to achieving that goal. Some of our universities have been very responsive and continue to be excellent partners in assuring Jewish and other students on campus stay safe amidst the horrible rhetoric that grows worse as events in the Middle East unfold. For those university administrations, we are grateful. Other university administrations in our Hillel of Colorado system have thus far fallen short, and we – along with those whose influence may exceed our own – will continue to hold them accountable in their responsibility to keep all students safe.

Our Hillel staff and student leaders work tirelessly around the clock to provide our students the small-group, 1-1, and program opportunities they need to be resilient, educated, and well supported. We now have set up parent chats and remain open to all input. Meanwhile, with our university and JFS partners, Hillel is actively increasing our capacity to meet the wellness and mental health needs of our students amidst the constant barrage of news reports, images, and social media posts that will only escalate. Significantly, through this all, student leadership has been adamant that regular weekly Hillel programs continue so students can gather with their mentors and peers to experience the Jewish joy and the normalcy they have come to expect at our Hillel Houses in Colorado: students crave that from their chosen home-away-from-home more than ever.

Hillel of Colorado is in daily connection with Hillel International’s security team; ADL Mountain States; and JEWISHcolorado’s Safe Security Network. Our buildings had previously been retrofitted through NSPG security grants (we are applying for additional funds, as well), and we engage university police and metro-police department officers as needed.

On October 9th Hillel reached out to university leadership on our various campuses to remind them that they must keep Jewish students, faculty, and staff safe in these perilous days by:

  • Calling out Hamas as a terror organization and its actions as evil.
  • Reiterating and enforcing established expectations of conduct by students, staff, faculty, and visitors toward Jews and other minorities.
  • Revisiting the university’s systemic plan for antisemitism training for everybody from department heads to RA’s; assisting parents and students to locate Jewish resources on campus; and instituting a Jewish liaison in university Cultural Centers.

We reinforce these messages in regular conversations with university presidents and chancellors.

Hillel of Colorado’s board and staff are deeply anguished by the loss of life and the pain and suffering of so many. At the same time, our resolve to inspire every one of our 2,000 Jewish students to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel has never been stronger. Thank you to our friends and supporters for standing with us. We value you, your thoughts, and ideas, now and always.


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