Young Jews across the country are leaving the careful watch of their parents this month and returning to their various campuses. For this year’s freshmen, Oreos have always been kosher, McDonald’s has always served bagels, and the Soviet Union is just another chapter in history textbooks. Here’s a round-up of the Jewish campus life they are stepping into.
Jewish Student Leaders Meet at Hillel Institute
Hillel hosted more than 700 students and professionals in St. Louis for the first ever Hillel Institute, working to hone on-campus organizing skills and to enhance Jewish student life across the country. Read more at Hillel’s website.
What’s Wrong with Brooklyn’s Books?
As the Jewish Week reports, administrators at Brooklyn College have come under scrutiny from alumni and observers upset over the decision to make Moustafa Bayoumi’s How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America required reading for new students. Though Bayoumi’s pro-Palestinian views have been called to question (see the Times piece), Brooklyn College Hillel released a statement supporting the use of the book and thanking Bayoumi for not bringing his political views into on-campus conversations about it.
Navigating Israel Activism
After various fights across the country over divestment from Israel, Jewish and pro-Israel professionals reflect in JTA on the challenge of supporting Israel and opposing moves towards divestment while avoiding the negativity and divisiveness that often emerges from discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on campus (see “Hillel students and professionals gear up to face anti-Israel campus activism” in JTA). Also in JTA, the Hillel director at UC-San Diego reflects on last year’s divestment battle.
The Last of the Heebs
Heeb Magazine, the trendy magazine for Jewish so-called “hipsters” is ending its print edition to become a solely online magazine. Check out New Voices’ relevant links.
Reflection on Jewish Student-hood
Also in New Voices, the start of the school year is an opportune time to reflect on the whole Jewish campus experience. Be sure to check out their student reviews of Rabbi Scott Aaron’s Jewish U: A Contemporary Guide for the Jewish College Student — particularly the conversation the book ignites about Jewish life on campus.
• The University of Alabama is celebrating the ground-breaking of its new Hillel building.
• Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, home of a fast-growing Jewish community, now has a kosher kitchen.
• At Penn State, Hillel is reaching out to incoming Jewish students.
• If you are now or may someday be a Jewish student in the St. Louis area, check out the St. Louis Jewish Light’s campus guide here.
• College Park, MD, home to one of the country’s largest and most vibrant Jewish student populations (as well as the writer of this blog) just lost its only kosher restaurant, leaving students with Hillel as the only option for regular kosher meals.
• Israeli hip-hop outfit Axum, who were artists-in-residence at Emory Hillel last spring, have released a mixtape! Download it here.