Office of the President

The Crisis in the Middle East

October 10, 2023

Dear members of the Oberlin community,

Like all of you, I have watched the violence and loss of life unfolding in Israel and Gaza with a heavy heart. Members of our campus community and beyond have lost loved ones, and my thoughts are with them during this difficult time. The human suffering is already unimaginable.

The world we are living in today feels like it is coming apart. When people lose sight of each other’s humanity, and antisemitism and other forms of hatred appear to dominate our world, it can feel like all hope is lost. There is no place for this type of terrorist attack on innocent civilians, and I denounce it outright. Violence can never advance the goal of peace. 

As I grapple with this truth, I find solace in the resilience of our community and the ability of Obies to come together, embrace one another, and support students, faculty, staff, and families who are personally connected to the pain of this moment. They need us now more than ever, and we will be there for them.

The Division of Student Affairs has reached out over the past few days to members of our community who have been directly impacted by these tragic events. The Multifaith Chaplain’s Office, in collaboration with Religious and Spiritual Life, will gather today and tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. at Lewis House to support students who are affected by the conflict in Israel and Gaza. For those in need of more immediate care and very personal support, we invite you to contact the Counseling Center at 440-775-8470. Some faculty and staff have also offered their availability for one-to-one guidance and support. 

As we find strength in each other, I cling to the hope that this cycle of violence will someday end. Until that day, our commitment to each other and to a better world must endure.

Carmen Twillie Ambar