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Tue May 14, 2024, 05:35 PM May 14

(Jewish Group) After USC canceled graduation, Jewish students held their own ceremony

This makes me smile given the attacks on Hillel by some


When USC canceled the main-stage commencement ceremony, Jewish leaders on campus saw an opportunity.

Before about 19,000 graduates walked across stages on Friday to receive their degrees in smaller school satellite ceremonies, USC’s Hillel hosted a graduation event for Jewish students and their families — a moment to gather in unity amid weeks of campus turmoil over Israel-Hamas war protests.

“A lot of people have been trying to take these joyful moments away from us,” said Mark Rayant, 26, who was earning his master’s degree in green technology. “We get to come together as a community in a safe environment, in a healing environment — something the university wasn’t able to provide.”

At USC’s Hillel center, a post-and-beam building next door to the university’s Catholic student center, more than 50 students attended in their black robes and red sashes along with 200 or so family, friends, professors and classmates......

Dave Cohn, executive director of USC Hillel, acknowledged that the year has ended under a “very, very dark cloud.”

“No matter how you view these issues — as a person of Jewish identity or as a person in general — there’s no denying this depleted and depressed the atmosphere,” Cohn said.
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