Passover Update

It is unacceptable that I need to send this email in 2024. According to its own Rules of University Conduct, Columbia University must ensure that students “can continue their academic pursuits without fear for their personal security or other serious intrusions on their ability to teach and study.” The University continues to fail to enforce its rules, despite escalating antisemitic harassment and around-the-clock protest activity on and around campus.

As Passover quickly approaches, we know that many Jewish students will remain on campus for the holiday. The Kraft Center is open and we look forward to hosting seders, meals, and services as planned. In all challenging situations, we advise students to do what is best for them. If anyone currently on campus wants to relocate for any part of Passover, we are happy to help connect them with local alumni hosts.

Those who are comforted by being at the Kraft Center and on campus should remain here. It is Columbia University’s responsibility to ensure student safety, and it is our responsibility to continue to hold the University accountable. To that end, the following accommodations will be implemented:

  1. The NYPD will be at the Kraft Center through Passover.
  2. Public Safety will provide walking escorts to and from the Kraft Center beginning Monday. They will continue to provide this service as long as deemed necessary. Please call the Public Safety main line at 212-854-2797. Barnard students can reach CARES at 212-854-3362. Public Safety will be at the Kraft Center to escort anyone following the seder. Students should go to the Public Safety or CARES offices if they refrain from using the phone on Passover.

Throughout and following the holiday, our professionals will continue doing what they have done for the last several months. We will be on and around campus – and at the Kraft Center – to listen to, comfort, and counsel students.

Columbia University must put an end to the on-campus protests that violate the University’s events policies. Off-campus protests need to be moved if the protestors will not end their harassment of students. If the University is not willing to enforce its own rules, remaining classes should be held via Zoom.

As always, Columbia/Barnard Hillel is here to support all Jewish students, wherever they may be. We look forward to celebrating Passover at the Kraft Center and on campus throughout the week.

Chag Sameach,
Brian Cohen
Lavine Family Executive Director