Middlebury College Admin Told Students Wanting to Hold October 7 Vigil to Remove the Word ‘Jewish’

2024-03-13 09:00:15

This is shocking until you remember that Middlebury College is like the Evergreen State College of the northeast.

Middlebury Students Tried To Host a Vigil for Victims of Oct. 7 Attack. Administrators Told Them To Remove the Word ‘Jewish.’

It was October 10, three days after Hamas had murdered 1,200 Israelis and abducted hundreds more, and Jewish students at Middlebury College were trying to organize a vigil for the victims. They reached out to Middlebury’s dean of students, Derek Doucet, with a draft poster promoting the event, which they invited administrators at the elite liberal arts school to attend.

“Stand in Solidarity With the Jewish People,” the poster read. “This will be an opportunity to honor the innocent lives lost in the tragic events that have struck Israel in the past days.”

It didn’t go over well.

In an email to students reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, Doucet, who has oversight of student activities, pushed to rename the vigil and strip it of references to Judaism so as to make it “as inclusive as possible.”

“Some suggestions that might help are stating that this gathering is to honor ‘all the innocent lives lost,’” Doucet wrote, and including a reference to the “tragedies that have struck Israel and Gaza.” He added that calls for solidarity with Jews could trigger “unhelpful reactions.”

“I recognize and deeply respect that there has to be a place for purely Jewish grief and sorrow,” Doucet said, “and yet I wonder if … such a public gathering in such a charged moment might be more inclusive with edits such as these.”

The need to include all groups—in a vigil mourning the losses of one—was selective and short-lived. Less than a month later, Doucet’s office approved a “Vigil for Palestine,” hosted by the Muslim Students Association, that began with an Islamic prayer and featured remarks from the school’s vice president of equity and inclusion, Khuram Hussain, who did not attend the Jewish vigil.

“Standing in solidarity,” the Muslim student group wrote in an Instagram post promoting the event. “Together, we honor Palestine.”

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Middlebury College Admin Told Students Wanting to Hold October 7 Vigil to Remove the Word ‘Jewish’


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