Students gathered on the Diag on Thursday night to honor victims of terror attacks that have taken place in the Israel over the past month.
The event, which was co-hosted by multiple student organizations including J Street, WolvPac, the American Movement for Israel and I-LEAD, featured prayers and accounts from those somehow affected by the attacks.
LSA senior Jonathan Friedman, chair of Hillel’s Israel Cohort, wrote in an e-mail interview to The Michigan Daily that he wanted to plan the event as a way to help the Jewish community on campus respond to the violence.
“More than just an outlet, (the vigil) is an opportunity to be aware of the tragedies and take a step towards positive change, however small it may be,” he wrote.
Seven Israelis have died in the last month in attacks carried out by Palestinians, according to The New York Times. Twenty-eight Palestinians have also died during the past two weeks in clashes with Israeli forces, The Washington Post reported.
A dozen of the Palestinians killed were identified by Israeli authorities as perpetrators in the acts of terror, the Post reported.
As recently as Tuesday, attackers have used firearms, vehicles, stones and knives to carry out the assaults.
LSA sophomore Elana Rosenthal, who also helped plan the event, said she wanted to emphasize Jewish solidarity with Israel in light of the attacks.
“I felt that it was necessary to create an event like this in order to unite all Jews, and all people, of moral conscience to declare ‘enough,’ ” she said in an e-mail interview. “Our brothers and sisters in Israel are facing incessant terror attacks. We cannot remain silent. We must declare that Israel is not alone — we stand with you!”
At the vigil, students sang Israeli songs such as the country’s national anthem “Hatikvah,” which means "the hope" in Hebrew.
Engineering sophomore Kevin Wolf also recited a prayer in honor of those who have been affected by the terror in Israel.
Wolf said he thought having the vigil was important because many of the Jewish students at the University know someone personally or distantly who has been affected.
“As I was taking the bus here, I was just thinking how lucky I am that, in this moment, I don’t have to be worried about being stabbed,” Wolf said. “For my sister who lives there, I just want her to know that I care and that we all care.”
The names of the Israeli victims and those wounded by the terror attacks were also read on the Diag. The list of names, which was updated as of Wednesday, included seven people who have died from the attacks and 21 people who have been wounded.
LSA junior Inbar Lev read part of the eulogy for Naama Henkin, an Israeli woman who was killed along with her husband Eitam Henkin. Lev also read a statement from Joshua Lankin, whose uncle, Richard Lankin, is currently in critical condition after being wounded in one of the assaults.
When asked why she chose to read the eulogy aloud to the group, Lev said the acts of terror have had a big impact on her personally.
“I’m Israeli, so it hits very close to home,” she said. “I feel as though we just want to show that we respect the lives that have been lost because of this.”
LSA sophomore Josh Blum said the vigil was a way for those affected on campus to pay their respects to the victims of the attacks.
“A lot of Israeli lives have unfortunately ended very early and I think we need to pay our respects for those who have died because of terror attacks,” he said. “This is not a way to get peace. You get peace by diplomacy. You do not get peace by killing one another.”