On October 30, 2023, a Vigil Ceremony was cohosted by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Jewish Heritage Club (JHC). It was conducted here at West to show a “great display of togetherness” and emphasize how “Muslims and Jews can be in the same room without having any issues and just be able to talk to each other,” according to the president of Jewish Heritage Club, Robert Rosen.
On October 7th, 2023, the militant organization Hamas attacked the country of Israel, resulting in a declaration of war between Israel (a Jewish-dominated area) and Palestine (a Muslim-dominated area). These two nations have had an ongoing conflict for decades. A vigil ceremony is defined as a “special time for people to gather together to mark the transition of death in the presence of their deceased loved one.”
During this ceremony, members from both clubs came together in the courtyard and “listened to opening speeches from Mr. Casio and Mrs. Cohen and members from each club reciting memorial prayers,” according to Tasfia Ahmed, Vice President of the Muslim Student Association. These prayers were in memory of those deceased in the current/ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Vigil idea could work with help from Mr. Cascio and Mrs. Cohen, advisors of MSA and JHC, respectively.
We are incredibly proud of both Presidents and advisors for their tremendous effort in ensuring this event was what it needed to be and achieving a sense of unity for Muslims and Jews during this challenging time for many.