Violence in the Middle East

October 9, 2023

Dear all,

The devastating attacks on Israel this weekend are heartbreaking and horrifying. We think about all people in the region, especially members of our own campus community and alums who are directly affected. Many on our campus and among our alums have friends and family in the region. We are hearing regularly about many in our community who have lost loved ones and had their lives upended.

During this time, please let us be aware that violence and hate do not move us forward but only set us back—dividing us from our neighbors and creating the conditions that make possible the inhumanity seen this weekend. As a community, we must keep in mind the breadth of those who are affected by this ongoing destruction, death, and suffering. I believe the Vassar community can come together and resist divisions amidst this appalling violence and loss of life. Let us listen to each other and show care and concern for our collective distress. We are strongest when we listen, support, and care for each other as a community.

The Offices of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices (RSLCP) and Restorative Practices for Engaged Pluralism will be holding a gathering to be together in our shared grief, loss, and hope for peace at 4:00 p.m. today on the Pratt House Lawn. Staff and affiliate members from RSLCP (, Restorative Practices (, together with staff from Vassar College Counseling Services and the Counselor on Call (x7333), are available throughout the day and ongoing.

I am thankful to be here with you and will stay in touch this week as events unfold. Let’s take care of each other.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President   
Vassar College   
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604