Letters To The Editor

Letter to the Editor: Boston College Jews Call for a Ceasefire and Release of Hostages

Jewish people around the world are observing eight nights of Passover, the holiday that remembers our enslavement in Egypt and celebrates our freedom. This year, it has been difficult to not contemplate the six-month war in Gaza and the lives of Palestinians and Jews lost in it. 

We condemn Hamas’ murder and kidnapping of over 1,000 Jews on Oct. 7, some of these people our own family, friends, and colleagues, and demand that these hostages, who have been held in captivity for over 200 days, be released immediately. We equally reject Netanyahu’s extremist government, which has failed to produce peace, and its killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians in Gaza. We join the calls, along with many of our brothers and sisters in Israel, for a ceasefire and believe that the position for the release of the hostages is one that is inherently anti-war. 

Student-led movements across college campuses have cried out for the liberation of Palestinians under siege in Gaza and demanded an unconditional ceasefire. Often absent from these protests, though, is any real acknowledgment of the horrors of Oct. 7. At times, there has been dismissal or even celebration of this violence. 

Echoing the words of Rabbi Shai Held, we implore our communities to remember Passover’s radical message: despite our own suffering, refuse the temptation to learn indifference or hate. Instead, let our memories, as ancient as Egypt and as recent as Oct. 7, teach us empathy and love. We remember two important tenets of our tradition: pikuach nefesh, the commandment to save human life, which is always sacred, and pidyon shvuyim, the necessity to liberate our people who fall into captivity. 

We understand that any future is one in which our lives are intertwined. Even now, in one of the worst moments of conflict since 1948, there are Jews and Palestinians in the region working together to forge a future, because no other future is possible. Let us join them.


Guy Beiner, History 

Rachel Brody, History 

Avner Goldstein, History 

Elizabeth Graver, English 

Lori Harrison-Kahan, English 

Charles Hoffman, Biology 

Daniel Kirschner, Biology 

Janet Kolodner, Formative Education 

Selva Lewin-Bizan, Counseling, Developmental, & Educational Psychology 

Rebekah Levine Coley, Counseling, Developmental, & Educational Psychology

Andrew Sofer, English

April 28, 2024

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