U of M Hillel and Chabad House of Ann Arbor organize “Moment of Unity” on campus.

By JN Staff

Photos by Orr Viznitser and courtesy of Chabad of Ann Arbor

A “Moment of Unity” for the victims of the Chabad of Poway shooting was held at noon Monday, April 29, at the University of Michigan Diag, with opening words from students Leor Rosen, chair of Hillel Governing Board, and Aviva Nemeth, Hillel Religious Life Chair.

“We knew it would be challenging to gather during exams, but it felt important for our Hillel and Chabad to work together to bring a Moment of Unity to our campus. Students seemed grateful for a moment to come together as a community, offer support for one another and acknowledge the tragedy in Poway, Calif.,” said Tilly Shames, U-M Hillel executive director.

Rabbi Alter Goldstein from Chabad House of Ann Arbor spoke about the Chabad community in Poway, where his uncle, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, is the rabbi. He shared a psalm in prayer for his uncle’s continued healing from his wounds during the attack. He also mentioned Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was killed in the shooting, and the group shared a moment of silence. Then Rabbi Jared Anstandig from Hillel reciting Psalm 23, often shared at funerals, in her memory.


Orr Viznitser

Student Jordyn Singer, co-president of the U-M Chabad House of Ann Arbor, offered a poem.

“We feel the pain of anti-Semitic violence particularly and most deeply in the Jewish community and acknowledge that this attack adds to the pain from the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, which many are still working to heal from,” Hillel’s Rav Lisa Stella told the crowd. “We know, however, that identity-based violence doesn’t only affect the Jewish community, and there has been a lot of violence in the world against ours and other religious communities in recent months, and that these things are connected. We stand with one another against hate of all kinds and are grateful to those standing with us now who are not members of the Jewish community who came in support and solidarity.”

Student Rachel Levy of Hillel gave an introduction to the Mishebeirach prayer, mentioning those injured in Poway, but also referencing a broader need for healing as well. She and student Adam Kahana led the singing of the prayer. The vigil closed with singing Oseh Shalom and with a short prayer for peace.