Where I was the night Rabin was assassinated

October 20, 2010 by

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I was a 10th grader living in New York when Rabin was assassinated. I was already a budding activist, strongly connected to Israel and my local Jewish community. I remember that evening well – experiencing the sinking feeling when rumors spread that the killer was “one of our own”, calling an Israeli teacher at my school in a futile attempt to achieve clarity, reciting Tehillim (psalms), the traditional Jewish response to crisis.

Several weeks later, I participated in a Panim El Panim seminar in Washington DC, a program that enables high school students to explore public policy and social activism through a Jewish lens. As part of the seminar, I was charged with the responsibility of organizing a memorial vigil for Rabin on Capitol Hill. As I distributed yarzheit candles, assigned Hebrew poetry readings to the other students, and wrote the keynote speech – all against the backdrop of the Washington DC skyline – I remember thinking: “This is the first rally I am organizing.” And, so it was. The first rally in my life as an activist.

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