The following are some of the basic postulates about America, religion, society, morality, the arts and Israel that are taught at almost every American university.
As a Hillel director for the last seven years, I have come to love this time of year. Graduation is the moment to celebrate not just academic learning, but the personal growth and discovery students experience during their university years.
The American pro-Israel community has a lot of work to do. While many pro-Israel organizations in the United States, including AIPAC, Christians United for Israel, Stand with US and Hasbara have been extremely effective in defending the Jewish State, there is always more we can do. Here is a list of the five greatest challenges facing the American pro-Israel community in the next four years.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned a symbolic decision by the Israeli Cabinet to change the status of the Ariel University Center in the West Bank into a full-fledged university.
Meet 22-year-old Jeremy Moskowitz, the poster child for what Hillel hopes will be a revolution in campus Jewish life. The catch: He didn’t spend much time at Hillel during his four years at Duke University.
The West Bank will have its first full university, pending the go-ahead of the Israeli military.
Israel's Education Minister expressed public support for turning the university center at Ariel into a full university, and the Finance Ministry announced extra funding in advance of a committee vote on the issue.
Students at Tel Aviv University who marked Nakba Day with an approved campus ceremony were met with a counter demonstration.
Hebrew College is renegotiating its debt and will be able to keep its flagship Newton Building.
Education is the key to success -- a "silver bullet" for changing lives in all segments of society. An affordable, quality college education must be available to all, not just the wealthy.
A group of protesting students silently walked out of a speech by Israel's U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren, at George Washington University.
Cornell University and The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology will partner to create a world-class applied science and engineering campus in New York City.
The Zionist Organization of America has filed a complaint against Rutgers University alleging that the school fostered a hostile environment toward Jewish students.
It’s March, which means the days get longer and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict heats up on campuses across North America with the annual staging of Israel Apartheid Week. Last year, pro-Israel activists countered Apartheid Week events ranging from anti-Israel speeches to the staging of mock Israeli army checkpoints with pro-Israel events on 28 campuses highlighting Israel’s diversity and progressive character. This year, more campuses are expected to join in.
The personal papers and other materials of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a founder of the Jewish Renewal movement, have been given to the University of Colorado. The material, including audio-visual material, have become part of the Colorado University-Boulder Library Archives, according to the Boulder Jewish News, after being in the care of Naropa University, which was working with the Reb Zalman Legacy Project of the Yesod Foundation to preserve, develop and circulate the rabbi's writings and teachings. The Jewish Renewal movement has infused modern Judaism with mystical teachings and contemplative practices influenced by Hasidism. The movement is run by ALEPH: Alliance for Jewish Renewal in Philadelphia.
Indiana University reportedly has fired an employee who was identified as a suspect in one attack in a series on Jewish targets. Mark Zacharias, the scholarship coordinator of IU’s Hutton Honors College Scholarship, was let go after working at the university for seven years, The Herald-Times in Bloomington reported Tuesday. He has been charged with felony institutional criminal mischief. Zacharias had turned himself in on Dec. 17 and was released after posting a $500 bond.
The Wall Street Journal recently published a column about ultra-Orthodox (Charedi) Jews in Israel who do not work for a living. Sixty-five percent of ultra-Orthodox men ages 35-54 do not go to work. Instead, they study Torah while demanding increasing amounts of money from the taxes paid by Israelis who work for a living. The author of the column, Evan R. Goldstein, wrote: “Voluntary unemployment has become the dominant lifestyle choice for [Charedi] men. And even if there was a desire to work, [Charedi] schools leave students unprepared to function in a modern economy.”
The desecration of holy texts was among three new attacks on Jewish targets at Indiana University that come in the wake of two earlier incidents. A rock was thrown Tuesday morning through the window of an apartment above the Chabad Jewish student center, located just off the university campus, nearly hitting a student and putting a hole in the opposite wall. Four non-Jewish students live in the Chabad apartment. Less than an hour later, a rock was thrown at the staff directory glass display case for the Robert A. and Sandra B. Borns Jewish Studies Program, causing damage.
Forget the men when it comes to business negotiations. Women may be more skilled than their masculine counterparts, according to a new study by an Israeli researcher.
"I wish I had 10 percent of the success with the Israeli government as I have with private donors," sighed Moshe Kaveh, the president of Bar-Ilan University.
Kevin MacDonald had just completed the first in a series of books that would come to define him.MacDonald, 64, has been deemed America's "foremost anti-Semitic thinker" by civil rights experts.
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
Student gets into good university. Student obtains esteemed degree. Graduate flounders in unsteady job market; must confront the dreaded possibility of moving back in with her parents, Ima and Abba, whom I dearly love -- and come college, was all too ready to leave.
Hillel centers on university campuses were viewed not long ago as little more than the local Jewish hangout, a place where students could come for kosher meals or socialize with other Jews. But in a move that Hillel leaders say has been forced upon them by this generation's altered social landscape, the organization is throwing open its doors to everyone, designing programs that appeal to Jews and non-Jews and hyping its contribution to university -- not only Jewish -- life.
The uncertain endeavors of UC students wanting to study in Israel may soon ease. A groundswell is building, with the student governments at UC campuses in Berkeley, Davis, San Diego and, most recently, Los Angeles passing resolutions urging the university to reinstate the study abroad program.
The Jewish Journal talked to four students who shatter the Jewish college-obsessed stereotype.
When Linda Volpert Gross took on chairing the board at Brandeis-Bardin Institute (BBI), it seemed that she would have a simple tenure. The institute had just hired Rabbi Isaac Jeret as president, someone they hoped could lead BBI into a bright new future.
I hate to admit it, but after decades of writing about Jewish-themed movies, I had only the vaguest notion of the National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF), but executive director Rivo filled me in.
On Monday, the three heads of the leading Jewish seminaries tackled this question, as well as the challenges of teaching a new generation of Jews in an hourlong plenary session that stepped outside the overriding focus on Israel at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly.
Noteworthy sessions and events at the General Assembly
Father Michael Engh thinks it's only natural that a Catholic university host the citywide commemoration of Kristallnacht, which is marked by many historians as the beginning of the Holocaust.
It is well known that some children of Holocaust survivors carry severe scars and wounds that actually manifest in peculiar psychological behavior. For two decades, I worked as a licensed family therapist, and I believe that some day soon there will be a formal psychological syndrome that would account for self-hating Jews like Norman Finkelstein. Perhaps the syndrome will even be named after him: The Finkelstein Syndrome.
If you're a Jewish college student, you no longer have to tolerate anti-Semitism or Israel-bashing on your campus. You are protected under our federal civil rights laws. These were the landmark conclusions of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent federal agency that analyzes information about discrimination and reports its findings and recommendations to the president and Congress.
On April 7, 1944, Rudolf Vrba escaped from Auschwitz, one of very few to do so; he died last week at age 81, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Vancouver, British Columbia. Vrba once said that he spent 95 percent of his life on science and 5 percent on the Holocaust. It is worth considering the importance of that 5 percent and the controversy it engendered, which resonates to this day.
What I Like About Jew is more irreverent than unorthodox, which is typical of artists immersed in what critics call the bourgeoning "hipster Heeb" movement. Like Jewcy T-shirts and the "Jewsploitation" flick, "The Hebrew Hammer," their work sets out to replace images of the neurotic nebbish with an new persona: the cocky, hard-ass Jew.
While a student at Columbia School of Journalism, Rachel Boynton saw a film about the history of 20th century nonviolent conflict that included a segment on how American consultants had gone to Chile in 1990 to produce TV ads for a successful campaign to end Gen. Augusto Pinochet's long autocratic presidency.
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."
Applying to college was not this complicated 25(ish) years ago. I think I took a PSAT. I know I took the SAT. I took it one time. I did relatively well. I got into UCLA. But times have changed. If I packaged up my high school transcripts and SAT score today, UCLA probably would laugh my application right out of the admissions building.
Oliner's personal turnabout resulted in studies, which still continue, at his Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior Institute at Humboldt. From there, Oliner and his wife, Pearl, have interviewed more than 500 rescuers who risked everything to save others, while seeking no personal reward.
Teaching your brain new tricks is like a workout for the mind. It's never too early to start, and you don't have to ante up tuition to start your brain fitness program
U.S. lawmakers and academics are engaged in fierce debate over the renewal of Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Under Title VI, select universities get federal funding and prestigious designation as national resource centers for the study of places and languages the government deems vital for meeting global challenges.
Entering university can be a tough transition, especially for Israelis, who have probably spent the previous decade of their lives prepping for the army, serving in the army and recovering from the army.
"Once you get out of the army, everything you used to study, to stand for, is gone; religiously, Zionistically --any kind of idealism," says Tzvicka Deutch, a Ben Gurion University (BGU) grad student who won third place in the popular Israeli reality show, "The Ambassador," in which young Israelis competed to represent the Jewish state in its worldwide public relations efforts.
Together with Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending of the University of Utah, Gregory Cochran is publishing in a forthcoming edition of the Journal of Biosocial Science a paper that not only suggests that one group of humanity is more intelligent than the others, but explains the process that has brought this about.
The group in question is Ashkenazi Jews. The process is natural selection.
Before 18 year-old Sara Smith graduated last June, she made multiple trips to the stage to receive multiple honors at Shalhevet High School's awards brunch for graduating seniors. In addition to being named class valedictorian, she received the excellence in math award, two Bureau of Jewish Education awards and a plaque from Bank of America.
This June, talented and bright middle school and high school graduates, like Sara, will star in their own school awards ceremonies. They will walk up to the stage, amid hearty cheering by faculty and family, to receive awards for their achievements in such categories as academics, the arts, sports and menschlikhkayt.
At the same time, the majority of their classmates will sit and watch, walking away without any certificates, plaques, trophies or applause and likely feeling that their contributions have been inconsequential. Many might inevitably become less enthusiastic about attending graduation ceremonies and festivities.
That conflict is not lost on the award winners themselves.
Inherently, I knew I would end up marrying a woman with a similar worldview. But only recently, after becoming engaged to an idealistic high school English teacher named Dena Stein, do I realize how our similarities, the big ones as well as the seemingly minute ones, make all the difference.
President Bush is expected to sign legislation that gives $200 million in aid to support the Palestinians.
Community news in the U.S.
The UJ has been around since 1947. My office window in Koreatown overlooks the block of Ardmore Avenue where it was originally housed. The university followed the Jewish community west in 1979, settling in to the expansive Familian campus, where it fulfills a unique but hardly problem-free niche in a unique Jewish community.
The last time my name appeared in The Jewish Journal, I had just been dubbed the "Milken Idol" for winning a public-speaking contest with what The Journal termed a "stirring pro-Israel speech" that called for "Zionist solidarity."
The Israeli-Palestinian issue is intensifying the fall-semester buzz at Duke University this year.