President’s Report: October 10, 2023
Our communities have close ties to Israel: whether we have family members or friends living there; whether we have visited once or multiple times; or whether our children or grandchildren have visited through camp, through birthright or a similar program, or have spent a gap year or a year of studies. Some of us have journeyed to Israel to celebrate important life events… There are so many connections. … As a parent, it is unthinkable that among the fallen, nearly 300 young adults were purposefully and methodically slaughtered while attending a music festival. Given the close connection that our communities have to Israel, there is a good chance that we know someone, or at the very least know someone who knows someone, who has suffered due to the barbaric and cowardly acts of hatred and brutality by the Hamas terror organization.
There is no doubt that these incomprehensible crimes against humanity have resulted in pain, in anxiety and in considerable uncertainty for students, staff, and families. This is a time to come together as a school community, as families, and as a broader community to provide support for each other. This is a time for all of us to embrace those we hold dear. This is a time to model the thirst for justice, to model dignity, and to hold fast to that which we hold dear.
We add our collective voices in the unequivocal condemnation of the horrific attacks on the people of Israel and visitors to Israel. There is absolutely no place within the human community for purposefully hateful and terroristic attacks that brutalize innocent civilians – attacks that were motivated by hatred for the very presence and existence of the victims. These were the acts of a hateful cult of violence.
We offer our deepest condolences and solicitude to all who are mourning and we hope for the safety of all who are sheltering from brutality. May all who are held captive be safely returned to their communities and families. May we someday all respect and value each other in our shared humanity.
We also know that many students, staff, and families within the 113 community have been impacted by the tragic events in Israel. As a school community, our first responsibility is to come together in order to support each other during this trying time. This is a time to listen closely to the concerns and uncertainties felt by our students and staff and to respond to their needs with understanding and generosity. If a student is in crisis or needs support during the school day, please encourage your student to visit their counselor or other social and emotional support resources within Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools.