Slain College Student Andrew Pochter Driven by Jewish Values to Help Egypt

'Passion To Help' Sent Him Back to Turbulent Middle East

Proud and Idealistic: Andrew Pochter was remembered as an idealistic star at his high school — and one who was keenly aware of his Jewish faith.
courtesy of blue ridge school
Proud and Idealistic: Andrew Pochter was remembered as an idealistic star at his high school — and one who was keenly aware of his Jewish faith.

By Anne Cohen

Published June 29, 2013.
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As co-manager of Kenyon College’s Hillel, Andrew Driscoll Pochter was asked to give a speech last year to his fellow students to mark Rosh Hashanah.

The idealistic 21-year-old from suburban Washington D.C. spoke about how celebrating the High Holidays helped him explore his Jewish faith.

“Entering the New Year really resonated with him,’ Marc W. Bragin, director of Kenyon’s Hillel. “He was so excited just to go out and discover things. His passion really came out that Rosh Hashana morning.”

Pochter, who was stabbed to death during anti-government protests in Egypt on June 28, was remembered by friends, teachers and colleagues as a curious, passionate and idealistic young Jewish man.

He was eager to help others, especially in the troubled Middle East, where he hoped to make a difference building democracy after the Arab Spring protests.

“(Andrew) really made sure that people were taken care of,” Bragin said. “What really stands out to me about Andrew is how incredibly welcoming he was to different people and to different ideas. He had a passion for learning, for learning about other people and other cultures.”

Pochter, who was teaching English to children in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, was killed when a protest turned violent near an office of President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party.

A statement from his family said Pochter had been “witnessing a protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester.” He was filming the protest with his cell phone camera, an Egyptian official said. He died in a military hospital.


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