Community starts letter campaign after student killed at Denver Jewish school

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Just feet away from Denver’s Yeshiva Toras Chaim, a small box sits filled to the brim with letters — words of condolence from a community still grappling with tragedy.

It’s been nine days since 18-year-old Shmuel Silverberg was killed at the Jewish school, seemingly chosen at random, as part of a crime spree Denver Police have described as “appalling.”

‘In moments of tragedy, you want to do good — you want to help’

Ethan Widoff lives in the apartment complex next to the school and said his grandfather attended the school in the 1930s.

“Oftentimes, in moments of tragedy, you want to do good — you want to help. But sometimes, we don’t know how,” Widoff said.

Just days after the tragedy, Widoff placed a box of empty paper outside of his front porch with a sign asking people to leave a letter for the Yeshiva community.

“The first night, within a couple hours of putting this out, the finished notes bowl was already full,” he said.

Widoff said he’s received more than 50 letters, along with some donations for the school and some small gifts.

Ethan Widoff lives in the apartment complex next to Denver’s Yeshiva Toras Chaim, where an 18-year-old student was killed at random during. Widoff started a letter campaign to send condolences to the school. (Evan Kruegel, KDVR)

‘Be present, and feel, be human’

“It brought me to tears, watching people outside, stopping their lives, their walks with their dogs, to physically stop and be present, and feel, be human, and share their emotions who they may not have a lot in common with, who they may have never met,” he said. “It’s been incredible to watch how many people have showed up to leave notes for our neighbors at the Yeshiva.”

The box is on the walkway next to the chapel in the courtyard directly northeast of the school.

You can also send letters to ethan@cuboulderhillel.org.

Widoff said he hopes to deliver them at some point next week.

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