Thursday, May 23, 2013

J Street U student leaders endorse Open Hillel

Simone Zimmerman, UC Berkeley '13 and president of J Street U, and Alexander Rofes, Brown '13 and a student representative on Hillel's board, wrote an op-ed in JTA yesterday in which they explained the importance of Open Hillel's call.

They wrote:

Too many of our friends left Hillel because they felt alienated and stifled in raising questions or voicing their views on Israel. Too many have opted to disengage entirely rather than conforming to a community that tells them they do not fully belong.
As many Jewish organizations frantically try to attract more young Jews into their buildings, it is counterproductive, counterintuitive and, frankly, un-Jewish to deny full participation to any Jews simply because of their political beliefs.
If Hillel fails to make political pluralism a priority, we fear the ominous vision some have about the Jewish community’s future will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those alienated will choose to build their families and communities outside of what they see as outmoded institutions or, worse, simply check out of Judaism entirely. This is not a price anyone who cares about Hillel and Jewish life on campus should be willing to pay.

You can read the rest of their article here: