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.
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.
You’ll find these and additional resources for support at wellbeing.columbia.edu.
Photo via Bwog Staff