Four dozen Israeli students met yesterday with UP Rector Martin Procházka in the Olomouc Jewish Community’s premises. The UP rector initiated the meeting on account of the current war in the Middle East, which is directly affecting young Israeli students studying medicine and healthcare at the university. During the course of the hour-long discussion, a number of questions arose concerning studies at UP and the possibilities of giving aid to Israel. The rector assured students that they can count on maximum support and understanding from UP and their individual faculties.
“We feel the difficult situation into which you and your loved ones have been placed, even though it may be beyond our imaginations. For you, this meeting must be quite emotional. We have gone through something similar a year and a half ago with our students from Ukraine. You are among our best students, and I promise to do everything we can to help and support you,” Procházka remarked during the meeting.
In attendance were also Petr Papoušek, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic; Josef Suchánek, President of the Olomouc Region; Milan Raška and Jarmila Zimmermannová, Vice-Deans for International Relations at the Faculties of Medicine & Dentistry and Health Sciences, respectively; and Petra Gaul Aláčová and Katarína Sarvašová, members of the UP Academic Senate. All promised help and support.
Students at the meeting had difficultly holding back tears, asking for sensitivity on the part of teachers in the coming days and weeks. “We all have someone near and dear to us who was injured, or even killed. I myself have lost two very close friends. We’re asking our teachers to please do their best to understand our situation. We will do our best to satisfy our study requirements, but at present it is indeed difficult to concentrate on our studies,” said Omer Kahlon, a senior in Medicine & Dentistry, at the meeting.
UP FMD Vice-Dean Raška said the faculty is ready to help its students. “Each of you is in a specific situation, and it is hard to imagine at present how the situation will evolve. Nonetheless, we are here for you, and ready to listen to your needs. Do not hesitate to ask for help; we will do whatever we can,” he assured.
Representatives from both faculties reminded students that psychological counselling is available for them. At the same time, they appealed to the students not to remain isolated with their emotions and problems; rather to share their feelings with their colleagues and/or look for help from their faculties. Several times during the session the students expressed their thanks for the university’s support, as well as that of the individual faculties and the Olomouc Jewish Community.