Last night, GS/JTS students were informed of the passing of Hannah Weiss, a sophomore in the dual program between Columbia’s School of General Studies and JTS’s Albert A. List College. Hannah and her family died in a plane crash in Costa Rica on Sunday afternoon. Hannah hails from Saint Petersburg, Florida, and found a home on campus within the Columbia/Barnard Hillel community.
Hannah Weiss was passionate about protecting the planet through environment conservation, and developed and lead composting initiatives at JTS. According to Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Walter & Sarah Schlesinger Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies Irving Lehrman Research Associate Professor of American Jewish History at JTS, Hannah was, “a wonderful student, great, friend, strong leader, and a beloved member of our community… She will be sorely missed.”
The Office of the University Chaplain is currently on call for students seeking support. The Barnard Office of the Dean of Studies and Residential Life will re-open on Wednesday, January 3, at 9 am. Barnard Primary Health Care services will re-open on Monday, January 8, and the Furman counseling center will resume clinical hours the next week. More details on these resources are available below, in the text of the email informing Barnard students of Hannah’s passing. Although CC and SEAS students did not receive a similar email, resources are available for them on campus and via phone as well.
Our deepest condolences go to Hannah’s family and her friends.
UPDATE, 9:15 pm: A memorial service will be held for Hannah and her family at 1 pm on Wednesday, January 3, at Tiferet Bet Israel (1920 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, PA, 19422). Shivah will be observed at the home of Sandy and Ed Levin (175 Birkdale Drive, Blue Bell, PA, 19422) on Wednesday and Thursday from 6 to 8:30 pm, with a minyan each night at 7 pm. An additional memorial service will be held in Florida on Monday, January 8; more details will be forthcoming on the Columbia/Barnard Hillel Facebook page.
Dear Barnard Students,
It is with great sadness that I share the devastating news that Hannah Weiss, a member of the GS/JTS Joint Program, passed away, along with her family, in a plane crash yesterday evening in Costa Rica. Please see the message that was sent late last night from JTS Dean Shuly Rubin Schwartz about Hannah’s passing.
Since most of you remain away from campus, I encourage you to reach out to your friends and family for support, as well as to take advantage of local resources as needed. Please practice good self-care in the face of this loss. Additionally, some resources are available during the winter break, which you may consult below:
Office of the University Chaplain is on-call during the winter break. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a time to speak.
Office of the Dean of Studies reopens Wednesday, January 3, at 9 a.m. Call (212) 854-2024.
Residential Life reopens Wednesday, January 3, at 9 a.m. Call (212) 854-5561.
The Furman Counseling Center will resume clinical hours on Tuesday, January 16. Call (212) 854-2092. After Hours Psychological Service resumes on Sunday, January 7, at 5 p.m., at (855) 622-1903.
Primary Care Health Service will reopen for urgent care on Monday January 8, from 9 a.m. to 11:30am. It will reopen for regular clinical care on Tuesday, January 16. Call (212) 854-2091. (Barnard students can be seen for urgent health care at Columbia Health through January 7, while Primary Care is closed. Please call 212-854-2284 or visit health.columbia.edu for Columbia Health’s hours and location.)
We join with the Columbia and JTS communities in mourning this loss.
Avis E. Hinkson
It is with deep sorrow that I share the tragic news that Hannah Weiss and her family were killed in a plane crash earlier today. Hannah was a wonderful student, great, friend, strong leader, and a beloved member of our community. Above all, she was deeply passionate about the environment. Hannah worked tirelessly to secure composting and other initiatives at JTS and inspired us all to intensify our individual efforts to protect our planet. She will be sorely missed. May her memory serve as a blessing for us all.
I’ll share further details as they become available, including opportunities to grieve together as well as to access counseling support.
Shuly Rubin Schwartz
Walter & Sarah Schlesinger Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies Irving Lehrman Research Associate Professor of American Jewish History
The Jewish Theological Seminary