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.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

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.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.