Campus Confidential brings you a mixed bag of news this week. Some items will cheer you up. Others, not so much.
Numerous campuses continue to deal with anti-Israel activity. After Jewish groups at the University of California, San Diego and Berkeley successfully turned back anti-Israel divestment resolutions, Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone published an opinion piece in JTA urging the American Jewish community to take seriously the “boycott, divest and sanction” movement. Meanwhile, an Israel Independence Day celebration was marred by violence at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
On the brighter side, Hillel at the University of Maryland got two ethical kosher seals of approval and sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer inspired a Princeton student to do something for the first time.
Scratch My Ish!
The Jewish federation world wants to know how Jewish students express their Jewish identity – chances are it’s not like their parents do. Hillel is working with the Jewish Federations of North America “What’s Your Ish?” campaign to get students to reveal their inner Jew.
After the Deluge…
The Jewish community in sleepy old Madison, Wisconsin, is reflecting after a year in which a Holocaust denial ad was placed on the school newspaper Web site and Jewish students asked whether a “Coasties” video was anti-Semitic.
Marylanders Celebrate Israel
The University of Maryland, College Park — which the author of this column just so happens to attend — is holding its annual Israel Week April 29-May 7. Check out the variety of events and activities being organized by Maryland’s Jewish Student Union and Israel on Campus Coalition at www.umdisraelweek.com.
Can’t We Just Get Along?
Before you give up on constructive on-campus dialogue about the conflict, there are positive developments on campuses across the country — even in California. At the University of California, Irvine, where Oren was heckled in a speech earlier this year, The Olive Tree Initiative and OneVoice held an on-campus discussion about the conflict and how it is discussed and approached on campus.
In other positive news coming out of California, a panel discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Muslim-Jewish relations was held at San Jose State University this week and attended by Hillel of Silicon Valley Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Nadav Shem-Tov. The panel was both cordial and constructive.
Orthodox Gays at Penn. Anti-Israel at Brandeis?
New Voices, the Jewish student magazine, reports on gay Orthodox students and the controversy at Brandeis over commencement speaker Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren
In a Pennsylvania State of Mind
Yes, we know that Pennsylvania is officially a “commonwealth.” Be that as it may, the state has a lot of schools and a lot of Jewish campus news this week.
Muhlenberg College may have been founded by German Lutherans but the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent reports that it’s become a magnet for Jewish students. But if Mulie isn’t your taste, try Alleghany College where a mom cooked up a traditional Jewish dinner for her son’s fraternity. And they’re preparing a final meal for University of Pennsylvania Hillel Executive Director Jeremy Brochin who retires at the end of this year after 23 years on campus.
If you’ve read this far in CC, you are a true campus-o-phile and you’ll want to know that Hillel is honoring former President Avraham Infeld on June 2 at Columbia University. Chances are, you’ve heard Avraham speak or participated in one of his organizations. He has spent his entire life educating Jewish young people about the meaning of Israel and Jewish peoplehood. Tens of thousands of students have heard his unique lectures during Birthright trips alone. For more info click here.
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