Andrew Pochter, the American student stabbed to death Friday during a protest in Egypt, was active in Hillel and motivated by a desire to encourage peace and democracy in the region.
“He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding,” said a Facebook post reportedly put up by his family, according to Reuters.
Pochter was killed during a protest against the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, where he was reportedly teaching English to children and studying Arabic.
The 21-year-old college student was from Chevy Chase, Md., and expected to enter his junior year at Kenyon College in Ohio in the fall. The Facebook post said he expected to study in Jordan next spring.
The Forward reported that Pochter had served as a co-manager of Kenyon’s Hillel, where he was asked to give a speech to fellow students marking Rosh Hashanah last year.
“Entering the New Year really resonated with him,” Marc W. Bragin, director of Kenyon’s Hillel, told the Forward. “He was so excited just to go out and discover things. His passion really came out that Rosh Hashanah morning.”
Bragin added: “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.”