July 1, 2008
New UC president keeps kosher, loves Israel
(Page 2 - Previous Page)While at the University of Minnesota, the Yudofs belonged to two Conservative synagogues, one in St. Paul and the other in Minneapolis. In their new Bay Area setting, they expect to join Conservative congregations, probably one in Oakland, where his UC office is located, and the other in San Francisco.
"I hope we can hold it down to two synagogues," he said.
At the University of Texas, Yudof was heavily involved with Austin's Jewish community, with Hillel director Rabbi David Komerofsky recalling, "I've never known Mark Yudof to refuse an invitation to a Jewish community event."
Yudof may have a difficult time being equally accommodating to California's 1 million-strong Jewish community, but, he said, "I will do the best I can. I feel a strong moral obligation to do so."
He also hopes that the Jewish community will continue its traditional support of public education and the University of California.
Interviewed a few days before leaving on the Project Interchange trip to Israel, Yudof said he looked forward to an intensive seven days, meeting his peers at Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion and Hebrew universities, as well as at Palestinian institutions; Israeli and Palestinian government leaders; a dialogue with writer David Grossman; and visits to Sderot and Hadassah Hospital.
In addition to Yudof and Drake, the 10-person mission will include the presidents of San Francisco State University, Temple University, Trinity College, American University, Indiana University, University of Nebraska and University of Michigan and the chancellor of UC Santa Cruz.
Besides the professional benefits of the trip, there is the emotional aspect for Mark and Judy Yudof.
"I am a very strong advocate of Israel," he said. "I just am. I'm there for Israel. I may at times disagree with Israeli policy, but when they suffer, I suffer, and my wife suffers."
1 | 2