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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘university’

Bar Ilan Breaks Rank, Quitting High Court Petition to Kill Ariel University

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Monday night, Bar Ilan University president Professor Moshe Kaveh informed lawyers representing the committee of heads of Israeli universities that he is withdrawing Bar Ilan University from the petition to the Supreme Court to annul Ariel University’s accreditation, Walla reported.

The Committee responded that it was sorry that Bar Ilan gave in to political pressure.

The petition was submitted after all the university directors, including Professor Kaveh, who met at the beginning of the month and agreed to pursue it. But, according to an inside source, Bar Ilan’s directors have been under pressure by right wing political figures as well as supporters of the university to retract their name from the petition.

The committee of heads of Israeli universities said it was “very sorry that political pressure caused Bar Ilan University to remove its name from the petition which had already been approved by the university’s president and rector. We are sure that the defense minister will wait for the Supreme Court decision on the matter and will not give in to coalition pressures.”

The universities are planning to continue to advance the petition.

“After it became clear that the university heads were required to sign on a separate power of attorney for each university to submit the petition, Bar Ilan’s president Professor Kaveh announced that he is opposed to it and will not sign the power of attorney for two reasons: Bar Ilan University helped to establish the institution in Ariel and provided it with academic sponsorship for many years; and Bar Ilan signed an academic cooperation agreement with the institution for joint guidance/training of Ph.D. candidates at Ariel university.

It’s On: Israeli Universities Petition High Court Against Ariel University

Monday, August 20th, 2012

What’s great about the following story is that it shows how diverse academic institutions can act together to achieve a common goal. In the end, when the need arises, differences are dropped and a rare unity can be achieved. If these same institutions collaborated this way on other issues, who knows, we could have an Israeli mission to Mars, if not farther away.

The only downside is that these exulted academic institutions are working in concert to decimate another academic institution, for its original sin of standing close to ten miles east of the “green line,” or the armistice line, where the Jordanian Legion and the IDF interrupted the hostilities in 1949.

Now the fight against the recognition of Ariel University Center as a full-fledged academic institution comes to the High Court: the Hebrew University, the Technion, Tel Aviv University, the Weizmann Institute, Bar Ilan University (way to go, frum brethren), Haifa University, Ben Gurion University and the Open University have filed a petition to nullify the decision to establish a university in Ariel.

The petition was filed against a long list of plaintiffs: the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria, the IDF command in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli government, the Minister of Defense, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, the Council for Higher Education (CHE), Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) and the Ariel University Center in Samaria.

The petition claims that the decision to recognize the University Center as a university is rife with defects and exceeds the authority of the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria. It also claims that the decision is “extremely unreasonable and unacceptable.”

But read the signs carried recently by left-wing Ariel haters, seen in the image above. They tell the real story, with messages like: “Ariel is not Israel,” “University for Occupation Sciences,” and “Don’t let the Settler’s State take over the State of Israel.”

According to the petitioners, there is no need to establish a Hebrew-speaking university in Judea and Samaria, since only 15% of the students are residents of the area.

Yes, it must be the Hebrew.

Just take a look at the number of universities in Judea and Samaria, and the list does not include colleges and other higher education institutions:

Arab American University

Al-Quds Open University

Al-Quds University

An-Najah National University

Bethlehem University

Birzeit University

Hebron University

Palestine Polytechnic University

Al Ahlia University of Palestine

Have you heard anything said, ever, about the legitimacy of these institutions? Do you know why? Because they don’t teach in Hebrew. It’s the Hebrew thing, every time.

If only the founders of that hated institution had the sense to call it Arial Madrassa…

UCLA Officially Protects Promotion of Anti-Israel Boycott

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

A professor of World Arts and Culture who specializes in Native American cultures at the University of California at Los Angeles, David Delgado Shorter, has been given the official green light to continue using university resources to promote the boycott of Israel by the university’s Committee on Academic Freedom.

Several months ago a California-based group focused on protecting Jewish students from academic anti-Semitism, AMCHA, learned from UCLA students that Shorter prominently features links to the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on his official class website.  The students who brought the anti-Israel concerns to AMCHA were too worried about retribution to complain either to Shorter or to anyone else at UCLA.

The founders of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel have openly stated that their ultimate goal is the dismantling of the Jewish State.  Hannah Rosenthal, the U.S. State Department’s former Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, has called their campaign anti-Semitic.  It is AMCHA’s position that all boycotts of Israel are deliberate assaults on the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

AMCHA took the students’ information and approached UCLA administrators, asking whether UCLA considered it within the parameters of academic freedom to promote the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.  According to Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, Lecturer in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University of California Santa Cruz, and co-founder of AMCHA’s Investigative Taskforce on Campus Antisemitism, there was never any intention to either censor or punish Shorter.  They simply wanted to know, on the record, the answer to their question.

And now they do.

In a letter to Shorter dated July 9, 2012, the UCLA Academic Senate CAF determined that promoting the boycott of Israel on a professor’s class website was “consistent with professional standards,” and therefore that Shorter’s promotion of that boycott, in the context of his classroom, would be protected by UCLA.

AMCHA points out that such a position conflicts with the UCLA Regents Policy on Course Content, which states that the misuse of the classroom for “political indoctrination” constitutes misuse of the University as an institution.  Shorter’s promotion of the academic boycott of Israel on his UCLA class website also appears to be a clear violation of the California Education Code , which prohibits the use of the name of any UC campus for the support, endorsement, or advancement of political or partisan activity or program, with “boycott” specifically named.

But the UCLA CAF was not content to simply exonerate Shorter.  Instead, much of its two page letter to Shorter excoriated Leuchter for listening to an “outside group.”  Apparently the UCLA CAF imposes the same stringent standards for filing complaints as do United States courts: “The only parties who should have the standing to complain about whether the content of a course threatens academic freedom are members of the University directly affected by the content of a course (e.g., students or teaching assistants).”

Efforts to reach a member of the University of California Board of Regents have not yet been successful.

Agnes Keleti: The Foundation Stone Of Gymnastics In Israel

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

“I felt here that I was at home,” remarks Agnes Keleti about her arrival in Israel in 1957. An Israeli emissary had invited this leading Hungarian Jewish female athlete to participate in the fifth Maccabiah Games that year, and that’s when she discovered that Israel was “home.” Soon after arriving she decided to settle in the Jewish state and become an integral part of its life. Riding the high wave of athletic success – Agnes Keleti, the most successful Jewish female athlete in Olympic history with ten Olympic medals – decided to put aside fame and fortune and contribute her talent to her people.

She became a coach of the Israeli national gymnastics team and a physical education teacher at Tel Aviv University and at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, imparting her enormous knowledge and experience to admiring young gymnasts. She also purchased sporting and gymnastic equipment that had never been used before in Israel.

Born on January 9, 1921 in Budapest, Hungary, Aggie Klein began her gymnastics training when she was four at Budapest’s Jewish club and by the age of sixteen had won the first of her ten national titles. With the German invasion of Hungary in 1944 the talented teen’s training came to an abrupt halt. To survive World War II she bought the papers of a Christian girl and worked as a maid for a pro-Nazi family in a small Hungarian village.

During the battle for Budapest in the winter of 1944–1945, she did morning rounds to collect the bodies of those who had died the previous day and place them in a mass grave. Her mother and sister went into hiding and were saved by the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. Her father, however, was sent to Auschwitz where, together with the rest of the Klein/Keleti family he was killed.

At the end of the war Agnes Keleti returned to her gymnastics career. Between 1947 and 1955 she was the dominant force on the national scene and was equally impressive in international competitions where she represented Hungary twenty-four times between 1947 and 1956.

At the World University Games of 1949 Agnes Keleti won a silver, a bronze and four gold medals! Three years later, at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games thirty-one year old Agnes won four medals — a gold, a silver and two bronze medals.

If her performance was remarkable in 1952, it was overshadowed by an even more formidable display of talent, determination and ability in the 1954 World Championship. She finished first on the uneven bars and the hand apparatus team, second in the combined team and third on the balance beam. This performance was still not the high point of her career, which came at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956: the thirty-five-year-old Agnes Keleti scored an astounding triumph, winning four gold and two silver medals.

The following year, Agnes came to Israel and a new chapter began in her life. Here she met and married Robert Biro, a fellow Hungarian physical education teacher, and, although by now in her forties, became a happy mother of two sons: Daniel, born in 1963, a university lecturer in finance, and Rafael, born a year later, a fashion designer. Mrs. Keleti Biro’s family joy was shared by her mother and sister who have also settled in Israel.

Recently, Agnes Keleti, dubbed “the most successful female athlete,”
celebrated her 91st birthday at her home in Herzliah where a former student described her as “the foundation stone of gymnastics in Israel.”

On Academia, Politics and Survival in the Middle East

Friday, July 20th, 2012

I will begin with a disclosure: I am the head of The Israeli Academic Monitor, an organization whose goal is to expose publicly the political activities of those Israeli academics who engage in activities against the state of Israel and against its ability to stand up to the political and security pressures that it faces. These academicians call on institutions and individuals to boycott Israel, to impose sanctions upon it and to withdraw investments from it, while camouflaging and disguising these activities as if they are done in “the academic spirit.” It must be noted that there are, among Israeli academicians, some “righteous” people who call on states and academic institutions of the world to boycott Israeli academic institutions and to impose punishments on those same institutions in which they themselves are employed, and from where they receive their salaries, the source of which is the government of Israel. We, members of The Israeli Academic Monitor, out of concern for Israeli academia in particular and for the state of Israel in general, act within the boundaries of freedom of speech and expression, and publish widely the despicable deeds of these Israeli academicians.

Today I dedicate my article to a matter that has been with us for years, which is the status of the academic institution that was established 30 years ago in the city of Ariel, in Samaria; whether to have it remain as a college or “University Center” (a concept which is not clear to me), or perhaps to raise it to the level of a university. Those who are faithful to the land of Israel support promoting it to become a university, while those who object to Israeli rule in Judea and Samaria – they call it “occupation” – oppose it. Each side of the argument brings economic, budgetary and academic justifications to support its view, but it is clear that the basis for one’s position is primarily political, and that this position dictates which of the justifications are emphasized.

The fact that there is a political argument engenders the perception among the Israeli public that all of the other seven universities are “not political,” and only the institution in Ariel is “political” because it is “in the territories” and therefore its establishment in Ariel has a “political” meaning. My claim is that all of the universities in Israel are political, and moreover, all of the colleges, schools, yeshivas, hospitals, prisons, factories, places of residence, roads, trees – everything that we have established, built, and planted in Israel – everything, but everything, is political. The whole Zionist enterprise is a political project because it is the political and nationalistic manifestation of the desire of the Jewish people to return to its land and to renew within it its national life, its independence and its sovereignty. Everything that we have done here since the students of the Gaon of Vilna arrived in Israel two hundred years ago until today, everything is aimed at renewing our political life as of old, indeed, the whole Zionist enterprise – including universities – has a political, as well as national connotation, and there are also those who see a religious component in this matter, connected in some way to the final redemption.

Jews the world over have joined this great political enterprise of the Jewish people, whether with their bodies or with their wealth. Those who joined bodily came, fought, built, paved, planted, seeded, reaped, learned, taught and did research, all in order to establish the political enterprise of the Jewish people – the State of Israel. Those who joined with their wealth remained in the Diaspora and donated their money to the establishment of schools, hospitals, yeshivas for men, yeshivas for women, colleges and universities, all in order to take part in the political, national and collective endeavor of the people of Israel.

The cornerstone of the first academic institution in Israel was laid exactly 100 years ago. This was the Technion in Haifa. Dr. Paul Natan, was behind the idea to establish “the Technikum” (the original name), enlisted the aid of David Wissotzky (the Tea producer) to donate the required funds, and they established the institution specifically in Israel, and not in the Diaspora, for the same nationalistic and political reason that influenced others to establish other institutions in Israel. Their motivation was to promote the “return to Zion” and the fact that the government of the land was then in the hands of the Muslim Ottoman Empire didn’t bother them. When they founded the first academic institution, their connection was to the Land, not the state, and to establish the life of the people in its land was their top priority.

Despite Fervent Objections by All Seven ‘Green Line’ Universities, Ariel U. Becomes a Reality

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Samaria will have its first full university, pending the go-ahead of the Israeli military.

The Ariel University Center on Tuesday was recognized as a full university by the Judea and Samaria Council for Higher Education, which handles educational concerns in the “disputed territories.” The center, which has more than 10,000 students, Jewish and Arab, would be called Ariel University.

The 11-2 vote came despite a vehement recommendation against approval by the planning and budget committee of Israel’s Council for Higher Education, as well as opposition from the country’s other seven universities, and from public figures, all of whom objected to upgrading a college which had passed all the prerequisites for the boost, but was still unable to conceal the damning fact that it was located in the “West Bank.”

Last month, in a letter to Netanyahu, the presidents of Israel’s seven universities said that an eighth university would deal a “fatal blow to the higher education system in general, and the universities in particular.”

On Sunday, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz announced that his ministry would earmark extra funds for the Ariel University Center, so that it would not cut into the funding of Israel’s other universities. Steinitz said he will ask the government to grant an allocation of some $5 million to $7.5 million for the next two fiscal years, with plans to increase the sum in future years.

That’s an approximately $4 million a year fatal blow.

Professor Daniel Zajfman, head of the Weizmann Institute of Science, said he would cancel all academic and professional cooperation with Ariel U.

Hebrew University President Menahem Ben-Sasson was concerned about gentile reaction to the move, specifically Norwegians and Swedes, warning: “We are putting the next Nobel Prize in danger.”

MK Einat Wilf, head of the Knesset Education Committee, said it was still all about the money: “If the Finance Minister and the Education Ministry have tens of millions of extra shekels for higher education, they should have been used to assist the existing universities, which are recovering from a decade of tough budget cuts.”

Again, that’s approximately $4 million a year.

For comparison, as of 2010, the Hebrew University deficit was estimated at $2.5 billion.

And the Tel Aviv University salaries and pensions alone have reached $165 million a year.

No doubt, depriving the fledgling Ariel of $4 million a year would go a long way to balance those hemorrhaging deficits.

Of course, the report on the center’s progress that was submitted to the committee of Israel’s academic establishment praises Ariel’s accomplishments and left no doubt as to its ability to take its rightful place as a major academic institution.

The final authorization for making the Ariel center a university will be made by the IDF central commander in the West Bank, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon. At this point, Alon is expected to back up the Judea and Samaria council’s decision.

The Judea and Samaria council was established in 1997 after the Council for Higher Education refused to discuss academic issues concerning the “West Bank.”

In 2007, the Ariel academic center was granted temporary recognition as a so-called university center, and its status was to be reexamined within five years. The city of Ariel, with a population of about 20,000, is located southwest of the biblical city of Shchem, where the patriarch Jacob was hoping to settle down and study some Torah, when unexpected thing started to happen.

Like it or not, Jacob’s dream is becoming a reality now.

JTA content was used in this report.

UC-Berkeley Jewish Students File Civil Rights Complaint

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Attorneys for two Jewish UC-Berkeley graduate students alleging verbal and physical assault by Muslim students have filed a federal civil rights complaint against the university.

The federal complaint alleged that “Jewish students have been subjected to a pervasive hostile environment and that the university has failed to take effective measure to cure the situation,” according to the Oakland Tribune.

The students dropped a lawsuit that alleged the same charges.

“We filed because once the plaintiffs in the lawsuit graduated, we lost the ability to affect changes to correct the hostile environment,” Neal Sher, one of the attorneys, told the newspaper.

He and lawyer Joel Siegal filed the complaint Monday with the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Department of Education against UC Berkeley on behalf of graduates Jessica Felber and Brian Maissy.

A university official disputed the harassment and abuse claims.

“The campus takes great pride in its vibrant Hillel chapter, the broad range of other Jewish student groups, our world-class Jewish studies program, and the recently created Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law at the Berkeley law school,” UC Berkeley Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard said in a statement to the newspaper.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/uc-berkeley-jewish-students-file-civil-rights-complaint/2012/07/15/

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