The CEO of of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus LIfe decried a New York Times report about the organization as inaccurate.
The report in SUnday’s Timies by Laurie Goodstein on Hillel’s guidelines for Israel events said the organization instructed its chapters to “reject collaboration with left-leaning Jewish groups” and that “Those who reject or repudiate Israel have no place” in the organization.
“Hillel has never said any such thing, and the Times knows it,” said Eric Fingerhut In a statement Monday.
Fingerhut stressed that the guidelines adopted in 2010 applied not to invdividuals but to organizations who partner with Hillel for campus programming. He said the Times “turned its story into a simplistic discussion of free speech on campus and conflict among millennial Jews and their elders.”
Fingerhut also took issue with the story’s notation (also cited in The Jewish Week’s report) that 1,200 students have signed a petition calling on Hillel to change its policies regarding Israel programming.
“It was pointed out to the reporter that there are approximately 400,000 Jewish students on American college campuses, nearly 20 million college students overall, and that a thousand or so names, many from non-students or signed ‘anonymous,’ was not a large number,” Fingerhut said.
Goodstein’s article contained a quote from Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School saying “I don’t think this is a free-speech issue. The people who want divestment and boycotts have plenty of opportunity to speak on campus. The question is a branding one. You can see why Hillel does not want its brand to be diluted.”
An email to Goodstein requesting a response to Fingerhut’s statement was unanswered as of