Shabbat dinner tells one part of the story. When Alon Kashanian, a UCLA senior, wants a “very big social atmosphere” on erev Shabbat, he goes to Hillel’s grand, Jerusalem-stone-adorned, 25,000-square-foot Yitzhak Rabin Hillel Center for Jewish Life on Hilgard Avenue in Westwood. He socializes with friends and mingles with some of the 100 to 200 students — the number can vary widely — who come for services and Friday night dinner.
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.
When Jennifer Thompson left her academic position in Iowa to join the Jewish Studies faculty at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), she encountered two problems.
Most freshmen feel overwhelmed during their first year at college. But for Sarah Selinger, a 19-year-old woman from West Los Angeles, her first semester at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), was almost unbearable.
On the surface, the anti-Israel lecture that CSUN sponsored on President’s Day was fairly typical of other, similar events that are becoming more common on American campuses. Always delighted to showcase anti-Israel Jews, especially if they are Israeli, the sponsoring groups brought academic Ilan Pappe.
How do you nudge the largest four-year college system in the United States to change its mind and greenlight its students for study at Israeli universities?
When Shi Lei finished a presentation about China’s hidden Jewish past recently, his California State University, Northridge (CSUN), audience was full of questions. They wanted to know more about the former synagogue in Shi’s hometown of Kaifeng and about his Jewish ancestors who settled there 1,000 years ago. One yenta, however, had more contemporary concerns on her mind:
Jewish studies programs at American colleges keep growing, but the enrollment curve of Jewish students in such programs remains largely flat or is drooping. The explanation for this seeming paradox is that more and more non-Jews are signing up and, to continue this trend, universities must reach out to other ethnic and religious groups, professor Jody Myers said.
Two new entries for Jewish studies can be found at Cal State Northridge (CSUN) and UCLA. CSUN has introduced a major in the subject this fall, and at UCLA, the Center for Jewish Studies has launched a new program on Modern Jewish Culture.
Students, faculty and staff members at CSUN were up in arms last week regarding an exhibit sponsored by the university's Muslim Student Association (MSA). The "Museum of Intolerance" exhibit, part of planned activities for the campus' Islam Awareness Week (Oct. 21-27), showed photographs of Muslims under attack in several nations including what it called Palestine, with prominent pictures of Israeli soldiers and of Palestinian Arabs throwing rocks.
Jacquelyn Barnette received the news during a recent meeting with Cal State Northridge officials: A CSUN administrative review had concluded that she was not fired from her student health center job because of anti-Semitism or retaliation.
The charge of anti-Semitism is apparently a first at CSUN; at least the first that Jeanette Mann, special assistant to the president for equity and diversity, has seen in her 24 years on campus.