web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Hillel Explains When ‘Open Hillel’ Will Result in Disaffiliation

The Jewish Press was told what will trigger consequences for campus groups which reject Hillel International's Israel guidelines

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International

Over the last few months, Jewish student groups on two American campuses affiliated with the Hillel International Foundation publicly rejected Hillel’s guidelines for partnership.

The first to stick out its tongue at the mother ship was Swat Hillel, the Hillel group at Swarthmore College, in suburban Philadelphia.  On December 8, the group approved a resolution declaring itself to be an “Open Hillel.”

According to the resolution, the Swarthmore College group rejected Hillel International’s guidelines “which privilege only one perspective on Zionism, and make others unwelcome.”

This week a second Jewish campus organization, the Vassar Jewish Union at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York, declared it also would not abide by Hillel’s Israel guidelines.

Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International, issued a firm and swift public response to each of those public declarations.

First, what are those guidelines the two groups cannot abide?

Hillel welcomes, partners with, and aids the efforts of organizations, groups, and speakers from diverse perspectives in support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Hillel will not partner with, house, or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice:

  • Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders;
  • Delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel;
  • Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel;
  • Exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.

In other words, you can think whatever you want, even about Israel, you just can’t use Hillel to provide a platform for haters of Israel.

College students tend to rebel against any kind of guidelines, even the most benign ones, and that’s pretty much what the Jewish students at Swarthmore and Vassar did.

FINGERHUT RESPONDS

Eric Fingerhut, the tall, amiable-looking relatively new head of Hillel International, immediately responded to the public pouts with cordial, yet firm, responses.

Within two days of Swarthmore’s vote to reject Hillel’s guidelines, Fingerhut wrote: “Let me be very clear – ‘anti-Zionists’ will not be permitted to speak using the Hillel name or under the Hillel roof, under any circumstances.”

The Swarthmore resolution included this: “All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist.”

Vassar rejected the Hillel guidelines on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Fingerhut again responded cordially but firmly in a statement released on Thursday, Feb. 20.

Hillel’s vision is to help Jewish students build an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Israel is a critical part of the Jewish people’s shared history and identity, and we will always encourage students to engage with Israel in a meaningful way.  Hillel will not, however, give a platform to groups or individuals to attack the Jewish people, Jewish values or the Jewish state’s right to exist. This includes groups or individuals that support and advance the BDS movement, which represents a vicious attack on the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Our expectation is that all Hillel affiliates will continue to uphold these standards for partners and co-sponsors. We look forward to helping every Hillel meet the goals of Jewish student exploration, education and identity.

While Fingerhut’s statement is a firm declaration of its commitment to its own guidelines, it makes no mention of what will happen should an affiliated campus group refuse to abide by those guidelines.

WHEN CONSEQUENCES WILL BE TRIGGERED

The Jewish Press pressed that point, and extracted some level of clarity about what Hillel International intends to do, and when it intends to do it, to campus groups which flout the guidelines.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “Hillel Explains When ‘Open Hillel’ Will Result in Disaffiliation”

  1. So, the headline is wrong? Weird.

  2. Anonymous says:

    e-mails from Hillel, will now proceed to my junk mail. I am a proud Jew and will not enable self-hating Jew's.

  3. Ron, since you seem to at least despise Jews who disagree with you, doesn't that make you the "self-hating Jew?" Just saying.

  4. Michael Brenner says:

    Hillel's guidelines are a way of not dealing with the problem of BDS. They're unworkable and inappropriate for a campus atmosphere.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Chaye Zisel Braun
Funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun Underway [photos]
Latest News Stories
Chaye Zisel Braun

The funeral for Chaye Zisel Braun began at midnight Wednesday night.

Car in Light Rail Runover

Al-Shaloudi was the nephew of the former Hamas chief and bombmaker Mohiyedine Sharif.

Aftermath of the vehicular terrorist attack at the light rail station near Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2014.

Arab media describes Hamas vehicular terrorist attack as ‘Palestinian ‘shot dead’ by Israeli police.’

Clashes in Silwan

Police tried to reach the home of the driver in Wednesday’s attack.

Hundreds of Jewish leaders from around the world who are part of the Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governor will convene in Ashkelon, one of Hamas favorite targets for rockets and missiles, next week. The Board had been set to meet in Mexico as part of its annual rotation amongst the world’s Jewish communities, […]

With all due respect to the IDF, since when is drug smuggling not linked to terror?

A demonstration by 10,000 in Isfahan for women’s rights has morphed into a protest against Iran’s regime.

Syria says it bombed the jets as they were landing in Aleppo.

The baby that was injured in the suspected terror attack this evening died in the hospital.

The train company’s video of the event in Jerusalem that left 8 people injured.

Haifa-based Elbit Systems won an $88 million from an unnamed Asian country for various projects, most of them for an F-5 aircraft avionics upgrade program and the supply of electro-optic and communications systems, Elbit announced Wednesday. The F-5 fighter jet has been in operation for more than 40 years four decades, and is used by […]

Wouldn’t be a lot easier if fanatic Haredim would simply charter their own planes?

One dead, 8 injured, 2 seriously when a car (purposely?) drove into a group of people waiting for a train in Jerusalem.

Please see this article for the latest update. Updates as soon as available. UPDATE 4, 6:42 p.m. Israel Time: Official word from Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman is that nine people were injured by a vehicle which struck people at the light rail station. The shots people heard were ones fired at the […]

A Canadian soldier was injured after being shot on Canada’s Parliament Hill.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Aftermath of the vehicular terrorist attack at the light rail station near Ammunition Hill, Jerusalem, Oct. 22, 2014.

Arab media describes Hamas vehicular terrorist attack as ‘Palestinian ‘shot dead’ by Israeli police.’

Jerusalem Light Rail traveling through a neighborhood in the capital.

Please see this article for the latest update. Updates as soon as available. UPDATE 4, 6:42 p.m. Israel Time: Official word from Superintendent Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman is that nine people were injured by a vehicle which struck people at the light rail station. The shots people heard were ones fired at the […]

Visitors from Ebola-stricken West African nations will be required to enter the U.S. from one of only five airports.

Israel’s UN ambassador refuted secretary-general’s hackneyed and false understanding of instability in the Middle East.

A radicalized Canadian convert to Islam rammed soldiers in what may have been an act of terrorism.

Haaretz smears U.S. terrorism expert for being a Republican and friend of Sheldon Adelson.

#BDSFail as daughter of Hamas leader is treated in Israeli hospital.

Abbas was denounced by the SWC for trying to disassociate Jews from their holy sites and inciting violence against them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/hillel-explains-when-open-hillel-will-result-in-disaffiliation/2014/02/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: