Jan 7, 2009 — The following is a message that President Richard M. Joel circulated to the alumni community in Israel:

Dear Alumni,

I want to communicate with you on behalf of all the students, faculty and alumni of YU. Although we are far from you, we are not distant. We know you are again enduring the incredible pain of war and uncertainty, as you and your children are forced to fight to protect and sustain the Jewish State. Here there is precious little we can do but provide moral support, advocate within our communities and have you and the medina in our tefillot.

Our students have been involved in multiple rallies, we are in touch with our elected representatives, we have held and continue to hold Tehillim gatherings daily in our batei midrash. We are sending a mission of students to Israel this week, are in touch with the 700 plus students learning in Yeshivot and Seminaries, and many of us, as parents with children learning in Israel, also consume every news report.

Please know that you are in our thoughts and our hearts. Esther and I will hopefully see many of you next week in Jerusalem.

Richard M. Joel