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CSU Jewish student groups hold candlelight vigil for Israel

Stella+Goldberg+lights+a+candle+at+a+vigil+for+Israel+in+the+Colorado+State+University+Lory+Student+Center+Oct.+12.+During+an+open+community+comment%2C+Goldberg+spoke+about+her+childhood+growing+up+during+World+War+II.+%E2%80%9CAntisemitism%2C+whether+you+are+with+Jews+or+youre+not+with+Jews+or+you+are+a+Jew%2C+is+never+going+to+stop%2C%E2%80%9D+Goldberg+said.+%E2%80%9CWe+only+just+have+to+be+brave+and+be+strong+and+stay+together+and+just+be+the+best+people+that+God+wants+us+to+be.%E2%80%9D
Collegian | Garrett Mogel
Stella Goldberg lights a candle at a vigil for Israel in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Oct. 12. During an open community comment, Goldberg spoke about her childhood growing up during World War II. “Antisemitism, whether you are with Jews or you’re not with Jews or you are a Jew, is never going to stop,” Goldberg said. “We only just have to be brave and be strong and stay together and just be the best people that God wants us to be.”
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  • A Star of David pendant hangs from Assistant Professor Carolin Aronis’ neck during a vigil for Israel in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Oct. 12.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • A participant of a vigil for Israel at Colorado State University stands in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12. Several Jewish community members spoke to the gathering regarding the conflict in Israel.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Colorado State University Executive Vice President Rick Miranda speaks at a vigil for Israel in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Assistant Professor Carolin Aronis speaks at a vigil for Israel in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Oct. 12. “My sister from Israel is writing to me, ‘There are rockets in my area,’ and many times she writes to me that there are rockets in her area all the time,” Aronis said. “My brother-in-law’s nephew apparently was at that rave party (referring to a Hamas attack on the Supernova music festival) leaving audio messages to my brother-in-law that terrorists, Hamas groups, are just running after them and shooting them.”

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • A participant of a vigil for Israel at Colorado State University stands in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12. Several Jewish community members spoke to the gathering regarding the conflict in Israel.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Natan Wallace and his partner Alexandra de Garay embrace during a vigil for Israel in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Oct. 12. “I was born and raised in Israel,” Wallace said. “I moved to the U.S. two years ago. If I would be back in Israel, I would most likely be in the music festival (referring to a Hamas attack on the Supernova music festival). And if I would have survived that, most likely I would be called in like many of my friends (referring to the call to serve).”

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Associated Students of Colorado State University President Nick DeSalvo speaks at a vigil for Israel in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12. “The things that are going through are absolutely unimaginable to me,” DeSalvo said. “And this is rightfully so a time of mourning, but I am deeply disturbed at some of the things that I see coming out of college campuses across the United States. So although this is a time of mourning, we have to remember to never forget. And whenever and wherever antisemitism rears its ugly head, we look at it straight in the face and reject it.”

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik speaks at a vigil for Israel in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Oct. 12. Gorelik concluded the vigil with a song about peace.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Participants of a vigil for Israel at Colorado State University stand around candles in the shape of a Star of David in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12. Several Jewish community members spoke to the gathering regarding the conflict in Israel.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Colorado State University junior Shayna Ross speaks at a vigil for Israel in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12. “I’m grateful for the Jewish community at CSU and for everyone here and how we help support each other,” Ross said. “I’m grateful for my time and Hillel and the support they’ve given me and refocus my compassion my teachers and friends showed me despite many of them not being Jewish.”

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Stella Goldberg lights a candle at a vigil for Israel in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center Oct. 12. During an open community comment, Goldberg spoke about her childhood growing up during World War II. “Antisemitism, whether you are with Jews or you’re not with Jews or you are a Jew, is never going to stop,” Goldberg said. “We only just have to be brave and be strong and stay together and just be the best people that God wants us to be.”

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • Candles in the shape of a Star of David in the Colorado State University Lory Student Center during a vigil for Israel Oct. 12. Several Jewish community members spoke to the gathering regarding the conflict in Israel.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
  • A participant of a vigil for Israel at Colorado State University lights candles in the shape of a Star of David in the Lory Student Center Oct. 12. Several Jewish community members spoke to the gathering regarding the conflict in Israel.

    Collegian | Garrett Mogel
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On Oct. 12 in the Lory Student Center, several Colorado State University Jewish student organizations held a candlelight vigil in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel.

Hamas, a Palestinian organization, launched a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip on small Israeli towns, killing and abducting civilians. Israel then launched rocket airstrikes into Gaza, which has been under siege since Oct. 7. Israel’s prime minister has declared the country is at war with Hamas, according to the Associated Press.

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The vigil, which was organized by the Chabad Jewish Student Center at CSU, CSU Hillel, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, the Advisory Council on Jewish Inclusion and Students for Holocaust Awareness, drew members of the Fort Collins community as well as CSU students and administrators.

After candles were placed and lit in the shape of the Star of David, speakers commented on the attacks on Israel.

“The Jewish community here at CSU, in Fort Collins — we’re going to grow,” CSU Hillel Director of Jewish Student Life Adam Fox said. “We’re going to be strong, and we’re going to be united because acts like this that just happened, … their objective is to have Jewish people be shy, be heightened high and be divided. We’re going to say no, we’re going to be one Jewish community and we’re going to be together through the highs and through the lows.”

Campus administration speakers included CSU Police Department Chief Jay Callaghan, Associated Students of CSU President Nick DeSalvo and CSU Executive Vice President Rick Miranda.

The things that are going through are absolutely unimaginable to me,” DeSalvo said during his comment. “And this is rightfully so a time of mourning, but I am deeply disturbed at some of the things that I see coming out of college campuses across the United States. So although this is a time of mourning, we have to remember to never forget. And whenever and wherever antisemitism rears its ugly head, we look at it straight in the face and reject it. I see you, I hear you and I stand with you. And I will never apologize for standing with the Jewish people. That’s my commitment to you.” 

Each of the organizing groups spoke, and Stella Goldberg, a 93-year-old Fort Collins resident, spoke about her experience living in London during World War II.

Antisemitism, whether you are with Jews or you’re not with Jews or you are a Jew, is never going to stop,” Goldberg said. “We only just have to be brave and be strong and stay together and just be the best people that God wants us to be.” 

“Condemning Hamas and their atrocious acts, like beheading babies, burning children alive, raping women, kidnapping civilians, does not mean that we don’t care for Palestinians’ rights, that we don’t care for Palestinians’ life, that we don’t think that they need to have their own self determination and that we don’t care about the loss that they currently are experiencing. We do care very much for them, and we do not dismiss it.” -Carolin Aronis, associate professor of ethnic studies

The vigil drew students and community members, including CSU first-year Jacob Maddock, whose family was in town for Homecoming weekend and joined him at the vigil.

“I’ve been a Jew since I was born through my mother,” Maddock said. “And she’s come out here for family weekend. And we came here specifically because we have quite a bit of family in Israel, and (we are) honestly appalled by what we’ve seen over here stateside and abroad, and, you know, (it’s) just good to find a sort of sense of solidarity with your community at times like this.”

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Maddock said the CSU Jewish community welcomed him as a new student adjusting to college.

“We’re small, but it’s very meaningful in a part of the country where there isn’t really a very large Jewish community to have that base of people you can rely on and have that sort of point of commonality,” Maddock said. “Being a freshman coming in, it’s been nice and really helpful to have so many people who just you automatically have that connection (with).”

Carolin Aronis, associate professor in the CSU ethnic studies department, spoke about her family in Israel and the terror she felt waiting for news of her family.

“My younger daughter told me, ‘Mom, like, I’m really concerned; you never invited your sisters to live here; what’s going on in Israel?'” Aronis said during her comment. “And just hearing this, she didn’t sleep that night because she dreamed of a fire that gets to her, and she cannot leave.”

Aronis recounted stories of what was happening in Israel.

“We are all very privileged because we don’t know what is to live life when someone can get into your door and murder you and your kids,” Aronis said. “We’re talking about families that were just gone. They had their Saturday morning and (were) in their homes — in their safest place. They were just murdered, and this is something that Israel never experienced. … I don’t know if you’re seeing it through the U.S. media, but just seeing the videos, you cannot forget what you’re seeing.”

Aronis emphasized her complicated emotional response to news of the conflict and to the renewed attention on the tension between Israelis and Palestinians.

“Condemning Hamas and their atrocious acts, like beheading babies, burning children alive, raping women, kidnapping civilians, does not mean that we don’t care for Palestinians’ rights, that we don’t care for Palestinians’ life, that we don’t think that they need to have their own self-determination and that we don’t care about the loss that they currently are experiencing,” Aronis said. “We do care very much for them, and we do not dismiss it.”

Following her story, Aronis ended her comment acknowledging the support of CSU’s Jewish community.

“So I feel guilt and feel thankful for being here,” Aronis said. “And I feel thankful for CSU and for the warm community that I have here and for my students. I really want to create hope that we can do something together and, in trying to, realize how healing can look like after what we’re experiencing.”

Reach Allie Seibel at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @allie_seibel_

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About the Contributors
Allie Seibel, Editor in Chief
Allie Seibel is the editor in chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, a role she loves more and more with each day. Previously the news editor and news director of The Collegian, Seibel has a background is in news, but she’s excited to branch out and experience every facet of content this and following years. Seibel is a sophomore journalism and media communications major minoring in business administration and legal studies. She is a student in the Honors Program and is also an honors ambassador and honors peer mentor. She also is a satellite imagery writer for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Seibel is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and loves how The Collegian has gotten her acquainted with Fort Collins and CSU. When she’s not writing, reporting or in class, you can always find her with a book, cross-stitching, planning where to travel to next, trying out a new recipe or listening to Taylor Swift. Seibel is incredibly proud of The Collegian’s past and understands the task of safeguarding its future. She’s committed to The Collegian’s brand as an alt-weekly newspaper and will continue to advance its status as a strong online publication while preserving the integrity and tradition of the print paper. Seibel is excited to begin a multi-year relationship with readers at the helm of the paper and cannot wait to see how the paper continues to grow. Through initiatives like the new science desk and letting each individual desk shine, Seibel is committed to furthering The Collegian and Rocky Mountain Student Media over the next few years.
Garrett Mogel, Photo Director
Garrett Mogel is a third-year journalism student with a second field in philosophy. He is one of two photo directors for the 2023-24 school year.  Growing up in Colorado and surrounded by dreamlike landscapes and adventure sports, it was only a matter of time before Mogel picked up a camera. For over a decade, Mogel explored Colorado, portaging rivers, postholing through several feet of snow, rappelling over cliffs and skinning up mountains, all with a camera in hand. Through his adventures, Mogel began attaching stories to images and began to engage viewers in conversation about their favorite areas. Eventually, Mogel’s passion for photography and storytelling drew him to pursue a degree and career in photojournalism.  In his years at college, Mogel has worked with The Collegian every year. In progressing through the publication, Mogel has seen all the ways student media fosters growth both individually as well as through collaboration. Additionally, the opportunity to witness how impactful a story can be on a personal, organizational and community level is his greatest lesson thus far.  Beyond The Collegian, Mogel still finds time to appreciate his Colorado upbringing. When not on assignment, he can usually be found mountain biking, skiing, camping, river surfing or at home planning his next adventure.

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