If you want to stay up-to-date with fun social events on campus, Instagram is the place to go! Check out these recent events at Drexel University, Clark University, University of Alabama, Kalamazoo College, Georgia Tech, and University of Chicago. From food trucks to free pickles to charcuterie boards -- free food seems to be a common theme!!
In sign of pandemic’s waning, first Birthright trip in a year lands in Israel (The Times of Israel) - “‘Dozens of trips are expected during May and June, with many more tour groups planned for July, August, and October,’ the organization said in a statement.”
From Chalutzim (Pioneers) to Chaverim (Friends), why we decided to change our name (The Scarlet & Black - Grinnell College newspaper) - “This new name reflects our desire to create an accessible and welcoming Jewish community and we hope our name will signal to new, prospective and simply curious students the presence of a thriving Jewish community here at Grinnell College.”
Getting to know some of the class of 2021 (Cleveland Jewish News) - “Now looking ahead to futures beyond the pandemic and the next chapter of their lives, a handful of local graduates told the Cleveland Jewish News about how Judaism has impacted their school experiences, plans for the future and what they’ve learned along the way.”
Yale student groups may act as intervenors in affirmative action case (Yale Daily News) - “Hillel Student Board members say that the NAACP Legal Defense Fund is building a coalition of Yale student groups to intervene in Students For Fair Admissions’ lawsuit regarding Yale’s affirmative action practices. So far, Yale Hillel and the Black Student Alliance at Yale plan to get involved.”
Statue by Nazi artist no longer on display at St. Mary’s College (The Jewish News of Northern California) - “In late February, after learning about von Graevenitz’s past, three St. Mary’s students created a petition that called for the removal of the statue, located in the courtyard of the college’s Museum of Art.”
Young Jewish Americans rocked by new hate fueled by Israel-Palestinian conflict (CNN) - “The violence in Israel and in Gaza was the most deadly since 2014 and was the first time many students have faced the anti-Jewish sentiments that are often attached to opposition to actions by the Israeli government.”
Statement by 2 Rutgers officials on anti-Semitism spurs criticism, an apology and response from college president (NJ.com) - “Holloway issued a strongly-worded statement, clarifying the university’s position and addressing critics who said the university should not apologize for condemning anti-Semitism.”
Hundreds of Princeton Faculty, Students Sign Letter Opposing Israel's 'Jewish Supremacy' (Newsweek) - “The letter, which appeared in the independent student newspaper, the Daily Princetonian, was titled ‘Princeton University community statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people.’”
US campuses become a growing front in Israeli-Palestinian conflict (The Guardian) - “Pro-Palestinian students are increasingly visible at US colleges but face well-funded opposition from supporters of Israel.”
Jewish community feels targeted by second act of vandalism, hate after flags stolen from Hillel Center (WBDJ in Roanoke, VA) - “Over the weekend, someone stole a Virginia Tech and an Israeli flag from along the sidewalk leading to the Malcom Rosenberg Hillel Center.”
Gaza Conflict Stokes ‘Identity Crisis’ for Young American Jews (New York Times) - “A new generation is confronting the region’s longstanding conflict in a very different context, with very different pressures, from their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.”
Run by the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) is an educational program empowering Jewish high school teens to give them the tools to be global advocates in diplomacy as they address the critical issues like antisemitism and how to create peaceful ways to discuss challenging topics. The goal of the LFT program is to ensure students begin college with knowledge, tools, and confidence to engage in ongoing dialogue with their peers on campus, and to think critically about global issues.
The LFT program will consist of seven sessions from November – May. During the 2021-2022 school year, LFT will be in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New England (Boston), New Jersey (state-wide), New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Westchester/Fairfield.
More information can be found at https://www.ajc.org/lftinfo, and students can apply directly at AJC.org/LFT/app2021.
See below for recent interviews with Jordan, Syracuse '20, and Julia, Univ. of Rochester '22.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes this a great opportunity to highlight some of the wonderful work being done on college campuses by organizations such as Active Minds, the Jed Foundation, and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, when the pandemic hit and mental health concerns increased, Hillel and other Jewish organizations were in a unique position to leverage their connections with college students to provide support and assistance to those who were struggling. Here are a few examples of initiatives and programs for college students launched by Jewish organizations over the past year:
Pomona College Student Gov’t Removes Club Divestment from BDS Resolution (Jewish Journal) - "The Pomona College student government removed a provision from the recently passed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution that would have denied funding to Jewish and pro-Israel student groups on campus."
New Kosher Dining Pilot Available on Campus (Mitzpeh) - "A new Kosher dining pilot program has begun at [University of Maryland, College Park] starting on April 19 and running through the end of the semester, providing students with an easier way to obtain Kosher food."
Amid crisis, American teens on Israel gap years reflect, parents worry (The Forward) - "But despite the escalating violence on the ground, none of the students, parents, or trip organizers who spoke with the Forward are considering leaving Israel before their planned departure dates later in May."
How international students can help solve Israel’s brain drain (The Jerusalem Post) - "The Jerusalem College of Technology (JCT) is answering the state’s call to action — and the college’s International Program in English offers students from abroad the unique opportunity to enter Israel’s high-tech sector and help the start-up nation meet its emerging workforce challenges."
Jewish students at UMass Amherst fear rise of antisemitism (MA Jewish Ledger) - "'I was pretty involved with progressive student groups on campus until I started to feel like I was unwelcome because I was Jewish. It was just very uncomfortable to be a Jew in a progressive space.'"
Integrating tough questions about the intersection of race, religion, and politics (Penn Today) - "Through student discussions and outside lectures, one SNF Paideia Program course examined the Jewish experience, the history of prejudice, and intersectionality in Jewish identity, among other topics."
To reach students, S.F. Hillel fundraiser pours a coffee analogy - (The Jewish News of Northern California) - "San Francisco Hillel, which serves hundreds of students on multiple campuses, has stepped up by offering virtual Shabbat programs and other events for stuck-at-home students yearning for connection during the pandemic."
UGA Chabad House co-founder talks Jewish American Heritage Month (The Red & Black) - "The respect and admiration that Jewish students at UGA hold for Refson and her husband is almost palpable, and many of them credit the Chabad House with the continuation of their Jewish faith through college."
Anti-Israel Graffiti Found on College Campus Under Consideration as a Hate Crime (Newsweek) - "The Bates Leftist Coalition, in conjunction with 14 other student groups, issued a social media statement denouncing the college's decision to ask the police to investigate the graffiti."
CSG response to the Israel-Palestine conflict draws mixed reactions from U-M community (The Michigan Daily) - "The statement drew mixed reactions from the campus community, with some believing that the statement was biased and one-sided, and others believing that CSG did what was necessary to support Palestinian students on campus."
LSU Jewish students react to Student Government post in support of Palestine (Reveille) - "LSU's Student Government posted a "March for Palestine" event infographic on their Instagram page, and many Jewish students with Israeli heritage feel it was an inappropriate and offensive move."
This week I spoke with Ashley (Class of 2024) at University of Michigan, and Max (Class of 2020) at Duke. Check out the interviews below, and bear with me as I figure out the technology!
Diller Teen Fellows program is an immersive leadership program inviting a select group of Jewish 10th and 11th graders from 6 continents and 32 communities to step up, lead their communities, and repair the world. Selected Fellows from around the globe are empowered to learn, explore their Jewish identities, take a leading role in their communities, and have a positive impact on the world. After completing the Fellowship year, alumni are welcomed into the Global Alumni Network, a global nexus of active and committed Jewish leaders with over 5,800 alumni.
In the U.S., there are programs in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Jersey, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. You can find application details at: https://dillerteenfellows.org/en/program/apply. Most deadlines are in June, but some are as early as May 18 (Baltimore)!
CAJUE (Counselor Advocacy for a Jewish University Experience) is hosting a virtual college fair on Sunday, May 23, 2021 from 1pm-4pm EST. Students and families can register at strivescan.com/JewishStudentFair. There will also be a presentation at 12pm EST for students considering a gap year in Israel. This should be a great event! See below for a list of colleges attending the virtual fair.
After a brief career as a lawyer and a few years in higher education administration, I have been working as an independent college counselor at Vinik EPS since 2012. Originally from Baltimore, I now live in Rockville, MD with my husband, our three daughters, and our King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.