Tammi Rossman-Benjamin stood before the board of trustees, the highest governing authority of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, and in her allotted two minutes stated her case against a professor who levels consistently hostile charges against Israel on his university Web site.
California State University, with 420,000 students on 23 campuses, has resumed its Study in Israel program at the University of Haifa, after a 10-year hiatus.
During the past few months, top California State University administrators, who oversee 23 campuses with 420,000 students, were spending a good deal of time wrestling with upcoming draconian state budget cuts and protesting students, yet they set aside some time to consider whether the largest four-year college system in the United States should restart its study abroad program in Israel.
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.
California State University (CSU) system has canceled its current overseas study program with Hebrew University in Jerusalem, leaving 11 enrolled students to face the loss of academic credits and tuition subsidies.
Fiesta Shalom, the Latino Jewish Cultural Committee's Sept. 24 festival at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), attracted some 5,000 people over the course of the day, according to estimates by campus police.