Connect with us

All Articles

Josh Berenzweig, CC ’20, Has Passed Away

This morning, Columbia students received an email from Dean James Valentini that Columbia College senior Josh Berenzweig has passed away, while on a leave of absence in Brooklyn.

Josh Berenzweig was from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He studied Computer Science and was involved on campus in organizations such as Hillel, club skiing, and Delta Kappa Alpha, as the society’s Treasurer. Josh was described by friends and family as a “beautiful and kind” individual with a creative spirit, who “cared deeply about the friendships he forged while at Columbia.” Advisers and administrators that worked with him remember him for his enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, and smile.

Community members who would like to remember Josh are invited to a congregation this afternoon, from 4:00-6:00 PM in Schapiro Lounge. We extend our deepest sympathy to Josh’s family, friends, and loved ones.

The full text of Dean Valentini’s email is included below, as well as campus resources for all those seeking support at this time.

Edit December 4, 2019, 3:45 PM: Certain information has been omitted for privacy reasons.

Dear Students,

I write to share sad news of the passing of Josh Berenzweig, who arrived at Columbia College with the Class of 2020 to study computer science. A native of Gaithersburg, MD, Josh was currently on a leave of absence from the University and residing in Brooklyn. While on campus, he was active in a number of campus organizations including Columbia Hillel and Delta Kappa Alpha.

Josh is remembered by his family as a beautiful and kind person who was outgoing, friendly, fun-loving, creative and musical. They noted that he cared deeply about the friendships he forged while at Columbia. Josh’s adviser told me he was a thoughtful student with an endless supply of energy. He is described by Hillel’s engagement director as having a warm smile and an eagerness to try new things and meet new people.

Students, faculty and staff who wish to gather and share remembrances are invited to congregate in Schapiro Lounge today, December 4, 4:00–6:00 p.m. […]  The loss of a community member affects every one of us, even those who did not know Josh. We are also mindful that this news comes at what can be an especially stressful time in the semester, with finals approaching. I encourage you to reach out to family, friends, advisers, faculty, counselors, peer advisers or any other member of your network for support should you need it. Contact information for Columbia resources is below and is also available through Live Well | Learn Well.

I send my heartfelt condolences to Josh’s family and friends as we mourn his loss.

With deepest sympathy,

James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and
Vice President for Undergraduate Education


Many people on campus are available to speak with you and provide support.

  • Make an appointment with Columbia Counseling and Psychological Services or stop in their drop-in counseling sessions Monday–Thursday, 6:00–9:00 p.m.
  • To speak with someone in the Office of the University Chaplain, call 212-854-1493 or email to arrange a time.
  • You are always welcome to reach out to your adviser in the Berick Center for Student Advising. You can also visit with the first available adviser during drop-in hours Monday–Thursday, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
  • Your RA is here for you. To contact the RA on-duty after hours — Monday–Thursday, 9:00 p.m.– 8:00 a.m. and Friday beginning at 9:00 p.m. through Monday at 8:00 a.m. — look for on-call contact information posted in your residence hall or online.
  • If you wish to speak anonymously with a peer, call Nightline at 212-854-7777, 10:00 p.m.–3:00 a.m.
  • If you are ever concerned for a friend, please let an adviser know or, if you believe there is imminent danger, contact Public Safety at 212-854-5555.

You’ll find these and additional resources for support at

Photo via Bwog Staff

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.



  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Josh and I met when I was in my freshman year and he was in his senior of high school through some mutual friends. He was one of my closest friends in that group and I miss him dearly. Rest in paradise boi, I love and miss you. Always

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous RIP

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous How did he pass away? RIP

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous One of the kindest souls at this university.

  • Have Your Say

    What should Bwog's new tagline be?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Recent Comments

    One can only wonder—what would Ben alldis think? (read more)
    Thoughts You Have During Your Virtual PE Class
    September 27, 2020
    So relatable and hilarious. Awesome post (read more)
    Thoughts You Have During Your Virtual PE Class
    September 27, 2020
    But hey, if you need to latch on to a coping mechanism in order to justify spending $60K on glorified (read more)
    Club Roundup Fall 2020
    September 27, 2020
    >muh 200K died Holy shit learn to code. First of all, that number is highly suspect due to false positives and (read more)
    Club Roundup Fall 2020
    September 27, 2020

    Comment Policy

    The purpose of Bwog’s comment section is to facilitate honest and open discussion between members of the Columbia community. We encourage commenters to take advantage of—without abusing—the opportunity to engage in anonymous critical dialogue with other community members. A comment may be moderated if it contains:
    • A slur—defined as a pejorative derogatory phrase—based on ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or spiritual belief
    • Hate speech
    • Unauthorized use of a person’s identity
    • Personal information about an individual
    • Baseless personal attacks on specific individuals
    • Spam or self-promotion
    • Copyright infringement
    • Libel
    • COVID-19 misinformation