Israel on our minds
It is Week One of the Spring Quarter and we’re already awash with optimism:
22 participants in our Fact-Finding Journey to Israel and the Palestinian Authority have returned to campus. These highly influential, non-Jewish student leaders spent nine days over spring break interfacing with the full spectrum of identities and perspectives in the region. They cried, they laughed, and most importantly, they learned. As they join us for Shabbat dinner tonight, they bring to campus on-the-ground experience of one of the most complex conflicts today. They also bring home hope and nuance, and serve as an inspiration to us all.
At the same time, we congratulate the UC Regents for passing a strong statement of principles defending Jewish students and correctly linking anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.
We welcome back the largest delegation from any school to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington DC.
And nearly 250 undergraduate and graduate students will be joining us for a camp-themed Shabbat tonight.
It’s a great start to our final quarter.
I have two requests:
1) Get the word out that UCLA is a great place for Jewish students! If you know seniors who have been admitted to UCLA, please tell them about our incredible Jewish community. There is a lot of misinformation out there. The simple fact is that we have the strongest Jewish community anywhere west of the Mississippi, replete with a daily minyan and kosher food in the dorms. UCLA students proudly wear their kippot, Jewish star necklaces and Hillel-branded shirts.
2) Ensure our ability to continue this essential work! Our student life, our trips, our advocacy - are only made possible through charitable donations from people like you. We receive no funding from UCLA. Private foundations and the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles combine to constitute less than 15% of our budget. For the remaining 85%, we are completely reliant on you. Please take this opportunity to celebrate with us by donating here.
Thank you! Please reach out to continue the conversation!
Rabbi Aaron Lerner
Executive Director, Hillel at UCLA