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BSI installation pays tribute to 130 hostages in Gaza, assembled ahead of ADOCH

Installation coincided with ADOCH and pro-Palestine demonstration by BDC, JFCN

Brown Students for Israel organized an installation on the Quiet Green to pay tribute to the approximately 130 hostages believed to be held in Gaza during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

BSI’s installation features two long dinner tables set up with chairs and plates, each of which represents “an empty seat at a Passover Seder table that should be occupied by a hostage,” wrote Victoria Zang ’26, a member of BSI’s executive board, in a message to The Herald.

The installation coincided with a campus rally in support of pro-Palestine demonstrators arrested at Columbia. Organizers of both demonstrations said they had been unaware of the other’s activities. It also coincided with A Day on College Hill, during which admitted students and their families toured campus. 

While the installation was planned “weeks ago,” BSI did not plan the display with ADOCH in mind, Zang said. But she said BSI was “happy it could coincide with ADOCH so that prospective students could join us in commemorating the hostages still brutally held in Gaza.”


Chabad at Brown and Brown-RISD Hillel supported the event as well, Zang added.

In the Jewish tradition, Passover celebrations are characterized by a seder on the first or second night of the holiday. Seder is a religious service set around a dinner table, where family members gather to eat and pray, among other activities.

Organizers taped pictures of individual hostages to each chair. The installation also featured teddy bears to “represent the children held hostage” and flowers as “persisting images of hope that (the hostages) will be brought home,” Zang wrote.

“Next week marks 200 days since the hostages were taken captive,” Zang wrote. She added that the official 200-day mark falls on the Jewish holiday of Passover, so “in observance of the holiday,” BSI chose to install the display a few days earlier. Passover begins Monday and will last until April 30.

“BSI always welcomes campus discourse,” Zang said. “We hope that our display faithfully represents the desperate need to bring home these innocent civilians.”

This is the second year in a row that activist demonstrations have coincided with ADOCH. At last year’s admitted students’ day, Sunrise Brown and Students for Educational Equity hosted a rally calling for Brown to increase its voluntary payments to the city of Providence, commonly known as Payments in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT agreements. The city council approved additional payment agreements in October 2023. 

Additional reporting by Ryan Doherty and Owen Dahlkamp


Tom Li

Tom Li is a Metro Editor covering the Health & Environment and Development & Infrastructure beats. He is from Pleasanton, California, and is concentrating in Economics and International & Public Affairs. He is an avid RIPTA passenger and enjoys taking (and criticizing) personality tests in his free time.

Avani Ghosh

Avani Ghosh is a Metro Editor covering politics & justice and community & activism. She is a sophomore from Ohio studying Health & Human Biology and International & Public Affairs. She is an avid earl grey enthusiast and can be found making tea in her free time.

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