This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.
Santa Barbara Hillel executive director Rabbi Evan Goodman’s and his staff have been on call consoling and counseling students around the clock since last Friday evening, following a murderous rampage that took place in part just a short block away from the Jewish student organization’s building in Isla Vista.
As far as Goodman has been able to ascertain, no Jewish students were victims of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, who killed six young people and injured another 13 before apparently lethally turning a gun on himself after a shootout with police on May 23.
However, the situation could have been much different had it not been the beginning of the long Memorial Day weekend. Because of the holiday, the usual Shabbat services and dinner were not scheduled for Friday evening at the Milton Roisman Jewish Student Center on Embarcadero Del Mar in Isla Vista, the densely populated neighborhood adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus.
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© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.