YU Students Attend Washington Heights Vigil for Victims of Christchurch Mosque Shootings
On Sunday, March 17, a contingent of around 10-15 Yeshiva University students attended a vigil in Washington Heights for the victims of Friday’s shootings at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) Senior Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Yosef Blau addressed the crowd at the event, which was held in Bennett Park.
The vigil was coordinated by U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan). Molly Meisels (SCW ‘20) arranged for a delegation of YU students to attend.
“The vigil was an amazing show of solidarity and support for New Zealand,” said Sara Verschleisser (SCW ‘21). “The diversity and unity of the event meant the delegation of students blended in, and the message against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred was moving.”
“It was with grief-stricken incomprehension that we learned of the cold-blooded murder of 50 people at the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Islamic Centre in New Zealand,” said President Ari Berman in a prepared statement, citing a verse from the Book of Job. “As over a hundred of our Muslim cousins gathered in their mosques for prayer, an act of faith that represents humanity at its best, a cowardly terrorist opened fire on them, an act of barbarism exposing humanity at its worst. The Yeshiva University community across the world stands in solidarity with all people of conscience against Islamophobia, and bigotry and hatred of any kind. May the families of the fallen find comfort and strength in the days to come.”
The attacks during a Friday prayer service in Christchurch, New Zealand killed 50 and injured another 50 individuals, prompting local synagogues in New Zealand to close for Shabbat.
Photo Caption: Senior Mashgiach Ruchani Rabbi Yosef Blau addresses the vigil.
Photo Credit: Office of U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat