A Message From Chancellor Gabel

October 12, 2023

Dear Pitt students, faculty and staff,

Like many of you over the past several days, I have continued to watch the horrific and heartbreaking scenes resulting from Hamas’ unprecedented terrorist attacks against Israel and innocent civilians. In no uncertain terms, we condemn these unconscionable, barbaric acts.

Over these same days, I’ve listened to our community’s voice, which, for so many, includes the heaviness of unthinkable loss. My heart goes out to all those pained by these events, and those tragically lost in these atrocious attacks, which include hundreds of young people — the age of our students — at a music festival with their whole lives ahead of them.

Because of the trauma felt by so many around us, we know the road ahead is hard. We are committed to supporting every member of our Pitt family affected by this terrible violence, including through the Office of Inclusion and Belonging, whose staff members are available individually or in groups to connect members of our community with resources and space to reflect.

As an institution of learning, we are also committed to offering tools to deepen our understanding with actionable, mission-driven engagement. In addition to previously identified resources, the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Civil Rights and Racial Justice, and the Office of the Chancellor will co-sponsor a virtual panel discussion on Monday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m. The discussion will feature renowned experts on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: Mira Sucharov, a political scientist at Carleton University, and Omar Dajani, a professor of law at the University of the Pacific. We will share more details on how to participate when they are available.

Through Pitt Global, we are convening a panel of Pitt faculty members to understand the war through the framework of international human rights and the international rule of law. We will provide more details and news about other events and opportunities in the coming days. And the University of Pittsburgh, among other global institutions, has been engaged by Israeli university counterparts to begin a conversation around peer-to-peer support. This includes Danny Chamovitz, who hails from Aliquippa but now leads Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. We look forward to being a part of whatever support our peer institutions need.

Lastly, as we share updates and other resources in the days ahead, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to all those who have reached out to me so far, and I welcome that continued exchange.

With best regards,

Joan Gabel