The announcement this week that Wayne Firestone is stepping down as president and CEO of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life next spring has set off a flurry of speculation as to why the 48-year-old professional would leave the top post he has held since 2006.
In response to a changing attitude toward Israel on college campuses, the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs lauched in 2001. Its goal was to serve as an informational guerrilla unit of sorts and work with established campus organizations like Hillel to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel propaganda. With calls for universities to divest from Israeli companies still occurring on campuses across North America, StandWithUs has found itself growing in recent years and working harder to reach more college students.
As Israel Apartheid Week launched at schools across the country last month, StandWithUs, an Israel advocacy group, had a message: pro-Israel students needed to fight.
The Israel advocacy organization’s statement described the campus Israeli-Palestinian climate in bellicose terms, calling IAW a “hate fest,” and advocating a “hard-hitting, aggressive response” on some campuses. It reassured readers that StandWithUs has “a big arsenal of materials for students” countering anti-Israel activities.
My wife and I are blessed with four wonderful children, two of whom are married, and the third a sophomore in college. Our youngest child- a son- is eighteen and a senior in high school. And like his friends, he is living through those weeks of high anxiety when college acceptances- and the other letters- are sent out.
College fair encourages students to prepare for diverse, often disturbing, attitudes about Israel.
Special To The Jewish Week
As if applying to college weren’t stressful enough — ask any high school senior currently working on applications — for many Jewish high school students there’s still another factor to consider in their decision.
Is their top college choice pro-Israel, neutral or actively hostile? What should a student do when a professor’s bias against Israel in a Middle East history class creates a chilling atmosphere for Jewish students? How should a Jewish student respond when campus newspapers and student government organizations attack Israel?
This past Sunday, the president of New York University issued a mass e-mail apology to students and staff. The day after Yom Kippur might sound like a sensible day for issuing apologies, but the question is whether John Sexton actually needed to make a Mea Culpa.
There are so many student clubs at New York University that it takes a lot for one of them to get noticed. So the Iranian Jewish Club, which was launched five years ago but has kept a low profile, tried something guaranteed to make a splash: a little glamour.
More than 300 people packed into the Rosenthal Pavilion in the Kimmel Center at NYU recently to get a glimpse of sparkly gowns, flashy cocktail dresses, hip-hop outfits and graceful wedding gowns parading down the runway.
With their own counter events, rallies and even popcorn,
pro-Israel students made sure Israeli Apartheid Week didn’t dominate campus discourse.
Last Wednesday, approximately 70 New York University students viewed “The Impact of Occupation: This Body is a Prison,” as part of Israeli Apartheid Week.
While they watched the film, which is highly critical of Israeli policies in the occupied West Bank, many in the audience noshed on popcorn from cups plastered with pro-Israel messages.