Dania Matos: Standing with our Jewish community

Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Dania Matos sent the following message to student leaders of Berkeley’s Jewish community on Friday:

I am writing you as leaders in our campus Jewish community and because tomorrow marks the first Sabbath since an armed man took four hostages at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas.

I imagine that some of you will be thinking of this incident and the larger rise of antisemitic violence in this country.

Please know I and the leaders of UC Berkeley stand with you as you try to make sense of this moment in our country.

There are few spaces more sacred to the Jewish community than a synagogue on Sabbath day and to see that space violated by violence is devastating. No one should have to worry about their safety as they practice their beliefs and pause to connect and reflect with their community.

Jewish Berkeleyans, like all people, have the right to joyfully and authentically express their faith without worry for their safety. As stated in our Principles of Community, we affirm the dignity of all individuals and strive to uphold a just community in which discrimination and hate are not tolerated.

My office and so many others on the Berkeley campus are committed to making that a reality. Please think of the Division of Equity & Inclusion as a place of support for students who encounter anti-Jewish or other hate on campus.

To that end, my team and I will be contacting you in the coming weeks to set up sessions to meet you and hear about your experiences at Berkeley.

In the meantime, I have included a list of campus resources that you may find helpful in addressing safety concerns and finding community at Berkeley.

Could I also ask that you please distribute this message widely to the members of your organizations so they know what resources are available?

Jewish life

The Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Jewish Life and Campus Climate, chaired by Professor Ethan Katz, is a place for students, faculty, staff and leading members of the Bay Area’s Jewish community to connect and organize. You can get involved by contacting Professor Katz.

I encourage you to find belonging with your community and with other student groups that serve the Jewish identity, including Berkeley Hillel and the Rohr Chabad Jewish Student Center. You can find a complete list of all registered student groups at callink.berkeley.edu.

Stopping hate crimes, harassment and discrimination 

For information and support on reporting hate crimes or hate-motivated acts, visit the campus hate-crime resource site. Learn how you can help when you see incidents of hate, violence and harassment through Bears that CARE – our active bystander training.

The Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination/Title IX is committed to fostering a campus community free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of protected categories including race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Specific threats to your safety should be reported to UCPD.