March 9, 2011
Brandeis Hillel rejects Jewish Voice for Peace
The Brandeis University Hillel voted to reject Jewish Voice for Peace as a member group.
Andrea Wexler, student president of the Hillel chapter at the suburban Boston school, explained in a letter to Jewish Voice for Peace, a Jewish organization that champions Palestinian rights, that Tuesday’s vote followed the international guidelines of the student organization.
“Our policy, consistent with our international guidelines, states that ‘Hillel is pro-Israel; steadfastly committed to the support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders as a member of the family of nations,’ ” Wexler wrote. “While, based on your presentation, we understand that JVP at Brandeis considers itself a pro-Israel club, based on positions and programming JVP has sponsored, we do not believe that JVP can be included under Hillel’s umbrella.”
Wexler cited the fact that Jewish Voice for Peace supports a boycott of Israeli goods produced in the West Bank as an example.
In response to the decision, Brandeis senior and Jewish Voice for Peace activist Jon Sussman said in a statement that “Brandeis students have lost an opportunity to learn from one another. Jewish students must demand the national Hillel organization change its condescending guidelines which marginalize progressive Jewish opinion on campus.”