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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: Coping as a community

Published: December 5, 2008
Section: Opinions

The Brandeis community’s reaction to last week’s attacks in Mumbai shows how in a time of crisis, all groups from student organizations to religious leaders to administrators can come together to provide support and help in the mourning and healing process.

As noted in a previous editorial, it seems that sometimes Brandeis students adopt a “save the world” mentality, but the reaction to the attacks in Mumbai was focused more on lending support to members of our own community in a time of crisis. The Brandeis community came together to simultaenously grieve and cope with the tragedy.

The two vigils held to commemorate the victims of the Mumbai attacks drew large crowds of the Brandeis community from different backgrounds, who came together to grieve and stand in solidarity with those affected. The organization of these vigils and their turnout is a symbol of Brandeis’ solidarity in a time of tragedy. In addition to grieving the loss of life, in the following days, various efforts are being put in motion to cope and recover from the attacks.

The idea to establish a scholarship in honor of Mumbai Chabad director Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife, who were killed in the attacks, is a perfect example of Brandeis trying to move on and create something positive without forgetting the tragedy. In addition to the emotional healing, Brandeis is also planning a way to help students intellectually interpret the attacks. Next Tuesday, the South Asian Studies program, Student Union, and Office of Communications will be holing a forum to give professors and students a chance to discuss the social and political implications of the attacks.

The Indian cuisine dinner sponsored by the Revive Mumbai Project also showed how Brandeis is reaching outside the campus to raise money for recovery efforts. Naman Pugalia ‘09, who is from southern Mumbai, has been a driving force behind many of the efforts to cope with the attacks, and the greater Brandeis community has come together to support him and his mission.

As we continue to cope with the devastation of last week’s attack’s, we should acknowledge the university’s efforts to provide emotional and educational support for the Brandeis community as well as reach out beyond the boundaries of the campus.