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

(page 3 of 3)

Pochter impressed his hosts in Morocco as a down-to-earth, earnest person who embraced learning about everyday life in the Muslim world.

Hachimi Taoufik, a teacher who taught Arabic to Pochter in al-Jadida, Morocco, told Al-Arabiya that Pochter spent most of his time staying in modest homes despite having a host family that lived in a palatial villa.

“He loved to go buy sardine sandwiches — he loved to come home and cook with my wife and kids, Taoufik recalled. “He even liked to go grocery shopping to cook some of the meals he wanted to share with us,”

Pochter’s optimism about the region and his ability to make a different was palpable after he returned from the region.

“I just think he felt really energized about being able to do something to help work out a better resolution to the issues that we currently have over there,” the teacher said.

Bragin said that eagerness to learn and help were what drove Pochter back to the region.

“He was curious, he was passionate about the Middle East,” Bragin said. “He really wanted to help people. It was evident from his actions that he tried to do that every single day. “

According to a statement released on the newly created “RIP Andrew Driscoll Pochter” Facebook page, Pochter had been planning to spend his spring semester in Jordan.

“Andrew was a wonderful young man looking for new experiences in the world and finding ways to share his talents while he learned,” the statement read, adding a request that his family’s privacy be respected during this difficult time.

People from all over the world rushed to post their condolences on the social media page, some family acquaintances and friends, but also strangers from as far away as Europe, and of course, the Middle East.

Ragaa Moustafa Mohamed was one of many Egyptians who apologized to the family on behalf of her country for the killing. They called him a martyr in their own struggle for democracy.

“I know that no words can bring u peace,” she wrote. “As an Egyptian I feel responsible for ur loss … I promise u that we won’t stop & ur sons legacy will continue … & we are extremely sorry beyond description.”

Friends from high school also shared some memories on the school’s Facebook page.

“Everyone that went to BRS while Andrew was there can attest that they have multiple stories that are some of their favorite memories included Andrew in them,” wrote Anderson Will Moss, who played lacrosse with Pochter for the Blue Ridge Barons. “Andrew wanted everyone to love each other, so that is what we can do to honor him.”


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!
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • The Cossacks were a feature in every European Jewish kid's worst nightmare. Tuvia Tenenbom went looking for the real-life variety in Ukraine — but you won't believe what he found. http://forward.com/articles/202181/my-hunt-for-the-cossacks-in-ukraine/?
  • French Jews were stunned when an anti-Israel mob besieged a synagogue outside Paris. What happened next could be a historic turning point.
  • 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.