No act of hatred shall ever diminish our hope and our faith in love.
It is in the spirit of this spiritual truth that the CCSF Board of Trustees will adjourn its meeting on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at our Mission Center Campus in honor of the eleven Jewish worshippers who were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.
Our hearts are broken and we mourn with Pittsburgh and with the faculty, staff and students of our CCSF Jewish community. It is time to do more.
We best honor the memories of those who lost their lives in synagogue by acting against and speaking out against anti-Semitism wherever we encounter it. For this reason, I will be soon meeting with members of the CCSF Jewish community, faculty, staff and students, to take steps to expand and institutionalize Hillel at CCSF.
These and related actions at CCSF must be a new beginning in which we all work together to heal the lies of hatred. Pittsburgh is now our latest wound. We have also witnessed the awful violence of misogyny in the Tallahassee shooting; racism in Charlestown; homophobia in Orlando and too many other events. This is to say nothing of the cruel singling out of the transgender community, the scapegoating of Arab and Latin American immigrants and now even the refusal to acknowledge that one born in the United States is not necessarily a citizen.
Enough is enough. There are many things for us to do. In the coming days as we head into the holidays, I will call upon all of us to take steps to replace hatred with love, to replace fear with faith. Taking such steps has always been the strength of the CCSF community.
As we contemplate and plan, we must also each contribute to the safety and security of all on campus. Please know that our CCSF police department is on high alert and scanning available information to identify threats. If you do happen to encounter an individual who is communicating threats and hateful messages, please make a report to our well-trained colleagues in the Health Center or the police department, or to your supervisor.
This week we will begin our healing with a moment of silence at the Board meeting. We must also commit ourselves to a prolonged effort at CCSF to create a healthy, caring environment where we teach and learn, “The Truth Shall Make You Free.”
Our condolences and support go to the good people of Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh who have taught us, again, hatred shall not triumph.
Elie Wiesel once said, “Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.” Pittsburgh is our center.
Dr. Mark Rocha, Chancellor
City College of San Francisco