Supporting our Students Through Difficult Times

Hillel of Colorado joins the Jewish community here, in Israel and across the world with thoughts and prayers for the families and friends of loved ones impacted by the tragic violence in Israel this past weekend.  Hillel of Colorado’s primary concern is the safety of our students and support for them as they feel shock, sorrow, anger, and helplessness in the aftermath of these heinous attacks.  We do not expect a quick resolution to hostilities and are working with our student leaders to plan for the trying days ahead.  Hillel has added appropriate student programs, safe spaces, and support systems, while we continue to host regular weekly programs that provide an important measure of normalcy, comfort and community for staff and students.


Hillel staff will continue to be in communication with governmental and community organizations; our local police departments; and our universities’ security services, administration, and mental health officials.  Much of what is needed falls on our Colorado Hillels that provide true homes-away-from home for 2,000 Jewish students, their friends and allies.  Over the past ten months we have been actively increasing Hillel’s capacity to meet the wellness and mental health needs of our students.  Amidst the horrors of the unfolding war – coupled with the constant barrage of news reports, images, and social media posts that will only escalate – we will need to be there for students in ways that are still unfolding.


This message has gone out to 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 of our students. Hillel Houses on our campuses are open to you around the clock – and will be staffed additional hours Monday and Tuesday, and throughout the week.  Please check your Instagram feeds for details.  Hillel will provide:

  • A place hang out, get some food, do homework – and talk, listen, and share thoughts and feelings in our safe space.
  • Non-judgmental support for your full range of feelings: we model support for each other with tolerance for differences.
  • Resources from Hillel, community organizations, and your university to provide information and help you deal with challenges.


On a personal note, I was a student at Ohio State University during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, having just returned from a year working and studying in Israel.  I clearly remember the fear and helplessness I felt then, and the sorrow later when I learned that both of my adoptive Israeli family’s sons were killed in that war.  As bad as those days were for Israel and the American Jewish Community, I fear these days could be far worse.  We can and must be there for each other.


Please don’t reach out now to our student-facing staff, so they may focus on the students.  Feel free to call my cell or e-mail me directly.  I am here for your suggestions, thoughts – or just to listen.


With prayers for shalom,



PS: For those in the Denver-metro area please join us at Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape Street, at 7 pm Monday, October 9th for an in-person community prayer service of mourning, prayer, and solidarity.

Pray for Peace in Israel: A Community Vigil, is cosponsored by Hillel of Colorado, JEWISH Colorado, Rocky Mountain Rabbis and Cantors, the Jewish Community Relations Council, The Anti-Defamation League, Israeli American Council, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The Jewish National Fund, and others.


Daniel W. Bennett

Executive Director

cell: 303-818-8207

work: 303-777-2773 x 203


help support our 2,000 student

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