The following statement is an excerpt from President Anne Houtman’s video update that was sent to the community on Oct. 11, 2023.
Before I begin my update, I’d like to take a moment to address something that is decidedly not peaceful. I’m referring to the Israel-Hamas War and the staggering attacks in both Israel and Gaza. At the time of this filming, more than 1,600 people have been killed — soldiers, fighters and civilians — and the violence in the region continues to escalate.
This type of brutality stands in stark contrast to everything we stand for as a Quaker institution. As a Quaker myself, I am shaken by the news coming out of the region. Quakers have deep roots in Palestine, including the Ramallah Friends School. We have alumni, current students and faculty from both Israel and Palestine who are directly affected by the fighting, and I am holding them in the light.
I recognize that many in our community are bearing the weight of this crisis — either personally or in solidarity with their friends and fellow Earlhamites.
In moments like these, I am grateful that Earlham is a place where people from so many different backgrounds come together to live and learn — in the classroom and from one another. We say that Earlham provides an education for good, and that quest for the common good calls us to listen with empathy, to act in pursuit of justice, and to recognize the humanity in all members of our community.