[Jerusalem, October 9, 2023] – In the face of the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem reaffirms its steadfast dedication to supporting the civilian population, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and the security forces during this challenging time. As an institution of higher learning deeply rooted in Israel’s values and history, we are resolutely committed to making a positive impact on our society, fostering unity, and extending our unwavering assistance to our community.
Our utmost priority lies in ensuring the safety and well-being of our University community. Many among us are facing significant personal challenges, with some serving in reserve duty, others having family members engaged in combat, or having close friends and loved ones directly affected by the ongoing conflict. In light of this, the University’s leadership convenes daily to make decisions in response to the evolving situation.
For this week, the first week of reopening following the holiday break, we have decided to grant individuals the autonomy to choose whether to come to campus for work, particularly in areas deemed relatively safe, such as Jerusalem. Simultaneously, we have made the cautious decision to close the campus, except for emergencies, in areas where safety considerations are less certain, like Rehovot. Additionally, we have postponed the start of the semester by one week, with plans to commence the academic year on October 22nd.
Despite these challenges, our dedicated academic and administrative staff continue their vital work. Special programs, including mechinot and initiatives for international students, are already underway, and examinations are progressing as scheduled. We are proud to host students on our campus, and we remain steadfast in offering counseling and specialized support services to those in need. Our guidance regarding protected spaces remains available to students and staff as required.
As the situation develops, our goal is to keep the community safe and to provide support as needed, while enabling vital research and teaching to continue where possible, in an atmosphere of calm and tolerance.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our friends and partners around the world who have demonstrated unwavering solidarity during these challenging times. The overwhelming support, messages of encouragement, and gestures of friendship from international communities have been a source of tremendous strength for us. We deeply appreciate the solidarity and shared commitment to peace and security, which reaffirms our belief in the importance of global unity during times of crisis.
Our hearts extend to all those who have lost their beloved ones or have family members missing, as well as those who have endured injuries. Our deep concern goes out to those currently in captivity, and we fervently hope for their safe release. We offer our gratitude and unwavering support to those courageously protecting their fellow citizens and those tirelessly serving on the front lines of medical and emergency care. We earnestly pray for an end to this conflict with minimal casualties. Hebrew University of Jerusalem stands firmly united with the people of Israel, the IDF, and the dedicated security forces during these trying times. We steadfastly uphold our commitment to academic excellence, community support, and making a positive contribution to our nation’s well-being. Together, we shall prevail over these challenges and strive towards a brighter future for all.