On Sunday evening, May 12th, the Princeton University community came together to commemorate Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day. Led by the devoted JLIC Directors Atara & Rabbi Azi Horvitch, this gathering was more than just an event; it was a reminder of the sacrifices made and the lives lost in defense of Israel’s freedom and security.

In the Princeton’s Hillel, approximately 40 individuals, representing diverse religious and political backgrounds, stood shoulder to shoulder to honor the memory of those who have fallen. This was not merely a Jewish affair; it was a testament to the universality of grief and remembrance, as people from all walks of life joined in solidarity.

Commemorating Yom Hazikaron with JLIC at Princeton University

The evening was marked by heartfelt testimonies from two students who shared personal stories of loss, recounting the lives of their cousins who made the ultimate sacrifice on October 7th. Another student shared about the death of his commander, underscoring the profound impact of loss on individuals and communities alike. Additionally, the harrowing experience of a friend who is currently still held hostage in Gaza was recounted, serving as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by the nation.

Yet amidst the sadness, there was unity. As voices intertwined in song and prayer, the room resonated with a collective hope for peace and the safe return of the hostages. Together, attendees lifted their hearts in prayer, expressing a desire for an end to the conflict and a swift resolution to the plight of those held captive.

Commemorating Yom Hazikaron at Princeton University one of the many students who spoke.

What made this gathering truly remarkable was its inclusivity. Beyond religious and political divides, individuals came together as one community, bound by a shared sense of empathy and respect. The presence of community members from the town further emphasized the broader significance of the occasion, transcending the confines of campus to embrace the wider community.

One of the many students who spoke at the Yom Hazikaron commemoration at the JLIC Princeton University event.

In a world often marked by division, events like these serve as beacons of hope and unity. They remind us of our common humanity and the power of collective remembrance. By coming together to honor the fallen, we not only pay tribute to their memory but also reaffirm our commitment to a better tomorrow, one marked by compassion, tolerance, and lasting peace.

Reach out to any of our Directors to learn more about JLIC and our programming.

Related Posts

A Journey Through Israel with Rav Azi and Atara Horvitch

Remembering the Unfathomable: Commemorating Yom HaShoah with JLIC

Honoring the Past, Embracing the Present: Yom HaShoah Commemoration with the Tel Aviv JLIC Community