When we hear that the one option that has always been guaranteed to us is now an uncertain variable, we can do nothing but doubt. When competition rages from all angles, and the safety we counted on no longer exists, we can do nothing but give up, right?
Short news items from all around Southern California.
The Jewish Studies Program at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) last week reprimanded Kevin MacDonald, a professor at the university whose writings on race are popular with anti-Semites and white supremacists, for views that are "professionally irresponsible and morally untenable."
Parents don't understand why 300 young Jews packed the Long Beach Alpert JCC for the Jewlicious sequel on Feb. 17. We came for food and song, complete with banging on the tables and exuberant dancing wherever there was room. At the Sunday night concert, "Jewbilation," you could see the look of shock on the older generation's faces as we jammed to Hebrew heavy-metal songs by the Maccabees. This was not your mom's "Oseh Shalom."
Two Cal State University (CSU) students spending their junior year on a foreign campus are enthusiastic about their experience. Ayelet Arbel loves the beautiful campus setting, the nearby beaches, the unique cultural exposure and the vibrant city life. Adam Ascherin is most impressed by the philosophy and outlook of the local people and their ready acceptance of strangers into their extended national family.
The good news, says their resident advisor Norma Tarrow, education professor at Cal State Long Beach, is that her two charges have quickly integrated into life at Haifa University and enjoy mingling with students from Europe, Canada and the East Coast states, as well as with local Arab and Druse classmates. Tarrow was among CSU faculty, who, together with the Jewish Public Affairs Committee, persuaded the administration to reinstate its overseas program in Israel after it was canceled following the outbreak of the intifada in September of 2000.
The bad news, she says, is that there are only two students from Cal State, and unless at least eight to 10 students enroll in the Israel program for the fall semester, the Cal State administration -- which pays for her salary and heavily subsidizes the program -- will probably have to cancel it for budgetary reasons.