MSU PLS expresses solidarity with Jewish community

January 21, 2022

Dear PLS Students,

The attack on the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas that took place on Jan. 15, 2022 was traumatic to many members of our community.  The hostage standoff was not an isolated event, but unfolded at a time during which antisemitic attacks, harassment, vandalism have been on the rise. 

The violence that transpired was particularly difficult for Jewish members of our community because one of the four hostages, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, grew up in East Lansing and was a member of Congregation Shaarey Zedek. His mother is still a member of this Congregation, as are some members of our MSU community. 

We express our solidarity with Jewish members of our community, particularly those who have personal connections to the victims closest to the tragedy.

We also acknowledge that expressing solidarity is not enough.  We will be holding space next week for our students, staff, and faculty to listen and provide needed resources to process and heal from the trauma.

Zoom link:

Zoom password: 080752

  • Monday 1/24: 4-5 PM EDT
  • Tuesday 1/25: 1-2 PM EDT

It is also necessary to note that while 82 % of American Jews say antisemitism has risen over the past five years, only 44 % of the general public believes the same.  We must play our part in closing this gap. The Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel provides a variety of courses and programming on antisemitism and Jewish cultures and history more broadly, for members of our community who wish to learn more.

The Political Science Department strives to be a community that is safe and welcoming. We urge the MSU community to join us in creating an inclusive climate and condemn antisemitism and other acts of violence and discrimination that target individuals based on identity, including race, religion, ethnicity, and gender. Our monthly coffee hours serve as a space to listen and learn from one another’s lived experiences, build community, and foster allyship. Our next PLS Coffee Hour will be on February 3 from 5-6 P.M. in Bessey Hall room 305. We will have cookies to go and give out PLS t-shirts. We will switch to a virtual Zoom Coffee Hour pending university policy.

Below are campus resources for our students, faculty, staff, and community members. If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed hate or bias incidents, please note the places to report.

Places to report:

Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)

MSU Misconduct Hotline

University Ombudsperson

Education on antisemitism and support for students experiencing antisemitism:

The Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel

Hillel Jewish Student Center

Supportive resources:

Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS – for students)

Employee Assistance Program (EAP – for faculty and staff)

Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion


With Care,

PLS Climate, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee

Ana Bracic, Eric Juenke, Eric Chang, and Heather Wilson


Corwin D. Smidt

Associate Professor and Interim Chair


PLS Faculty Advisory Committee