A moment of reflection and prayer

This has been another difficult week on the world stage. Last Saturday, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, leading to a week of fighting and a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis. Thousands of people have been killed in Israel and Gaza, with many more wounded. Israel has called for the evacuation of 1.1 million people from northern Gaza.

In Hamas’ devastating attack, scores of hostages were taken from their homes and from a music festival. Some of their stories:

Omer Neutra, 21

Omer Neutra – Daily Mail

Omer’s father said that they spoke to their son on Friday afternoon, a seven hour time difference. He said that his son sounded good, but a little tired. He said he had been very busy the last two weeks with the Jewish holidays.

By midnight, they saw on a news app that their was something happening on the Southern portion of Israel and they said they immediately called him but could not get through. 

Ronen said that one of Omer’s friends showed him a video two days after the attack.

He recalled, ‘it was pretty shocking,’ he said. ‘I asked a good friend to come over and watch it. I knew it was something I wasn’t ready to watch. He wasn’t sure but thought he saw Omer in the footage.’

Doros Asher Katz, 34, and her two daughters – Raz, 5, and Aviv, 2.

Aviv Asher and Raz Asher – from Washington Post

Around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Doron Asher Katz called her husband. The 34-year-old was visiting her mother in the Nir Oz kibbutz, a communal settlement in the south of Israel, along with her two daughters, 2-year-old Aviv and 5-year-old Raz. “I got a phone call in which she was saying that they were locked down in the security room,” her husband, Yoni Asher, said in a telephone interview. Hamas militants had entered the family’s house.

Omer Wenkert, 22

Omer Wenkert – from Washington Post

Omer Wenkert traveled to the Tribe of Nova music festival on Saturday morning, just three miles from the fence that divides Israel from the Gaza Strip. About 6:30 a.m., he called his family. The night of dancing and revelry was transforming into a massacre. Wenkert, according to his uncle Ricardo Grichner, who had a family dinner with him the night before, told relatives he could hear shooting but was unable to find a way out. In a text sent shortly before 8 a.m., he said he felt scared and helpless. Then he stopped picking up his phone.

Omer Shem-Tov, 21

Omer Shem Tov – from Washington Post

When Omer Shem-Tov last spoke to his father, he was attempting to flee by car as Hamas attackers descended on the festival. Between 6:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday, they had multiple phone calls, as his father Malki Shem-Tov tried to help his son to escape. “From one call to another call, he sounded much more panicked,” Malki said. “In one of the last calls, he said that people are shooting. He said … ‘I love you.’”

There is much pain and suffering for countless innocent civilians. There is much misinformation and confusion, as well as anger and fear. It is a time to keep our loved ones close, and keep those in danger in our thoughts as we pray for peace.

Let us Pray.


Good morning California.
It is October 14, 2023.
A day to bring hope and peace as Community College Champion

From California Community Colleges.
Our Time is Now!

Mission College Student Casey Chang Named
to the California Community Colleges Board of Directors

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the appointment of Mission College student Casey Chang to the prestigious California Community Colleges Board of Governors. Chang, a resident of Pleasanton, has demonstrated a deep commitment to education, environmental conservation, and student advocacy throughout her early career.

» Read More!

Long Beach City College Earns Seal of Excelencia Recertification

Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latina/o/x student success in higher education, announced that Long Beach City College has been recertified with the prestigious Seal of Excelencia for demonstrating through data, evidence-based practices, and leadership, how it is intentionally serving Latina/o/x students.

» Read more!

Skyline College IMMERSE Scholars Participate in
S-STEM Scholars Meeting in Washington, DC

Four Skyline College IMMERSE in STEM scholars, Abigail Jean Alfonso, Leonardo Calle, Gabriel Hapin-Aranda, and Arian Villena, attended the 2023 S-STEM Scholars Meeting in Washington, DC, along with Professor Emilie Hein, who went as a mentor. IMMERSE in STEM stands for Innovative and Meaningful Mentoring to Enhance Retention, Success, and Engagement in STEM. The program is funded by the NSF S-STEM program and was established at Skyline College this past Spring 2023, welcoming its first cohort of scholars.

» Read more!

In Case You Missed It

Undocumented Student Action Week

Mark your calendars for the 7th Annual California Community Colleges’ Undocumented Student Action Week (USAW) on October 16 – 20, 2023. Join the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Community College League of California, and our statewide partners on Monday, October 16 for an in-person event at Fresno City College and daily webinars throughout the week.

» Find out more & register for events!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

From CA State Treasurer Fiona Ma:

Toured @SierraCollege and talked about current and new student housing with President @WillyDuncan and Chancellor @sonyachristian Team. Met some students and did some Q&A with students at the “Pizza With The President” lunch meeting. @CalCommColleges#housing#AffordableHousing#studentlife


From Kern CCD Trustee Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg:

The national ACCT 2023 Charles Kennedy Equity Awarded to Kern Community College District!

Check out this piece from KGET about the award.

Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez shared this from the conference:

Day two at the #2023ACCT Building a Legacy National Conference! Representing our Kern Community College District at the conference. Attended workshops on legal challenges and national advocacy and connected with inspiring colleagues. Exciting insights gathered!

Cerritos CCD President/Superintendent
Jose Fierro, Assemblymember Mike Fong, Kern CCD Trustee Yovani Jimenez


From Los Angeles Harbor College:

@_flemingmiddleschool_ in the house! So glad to host you at Harbor for a Campus Tour! Go Seahawks! You ARE Seahawks!


From College of San Mateo:

Proud of our Student Volunteer Club! Our dedicated students hit the beach for the second time, making a BIG impact for their beach cleanup event!

And From the Home of the Renegades

BC Hosts Project HireUp Fall 2023 Graduation

Images of hope, pride and celebration were seen this past Friday, October 6th, 2023, at The Summit Sanctuary, as community members, agencies, and partners gathered for the Fall 2023 Bakersfield College – Project HireUp Graduation, celebrating the 10th cohort graduation since Spring 2020. 

» Read More!

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With prayers for peace 

Your Chancellor,



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