Today is June 16, 2019 -
If you’ve been reading this column for the past two years, you know that one of the things that keeps me awake at night is the anti-Semitism/anti-Israel activity on our college campuses, coupled with the inadequate preparation for many of our young people to deal with it. I have been encouraging parents to send their kids to Israel, synagogue, Jewish schools, youth-group activities, etc. I have encouraged our college students to see what Hillels and campus Chabads have to offer. Federation has beefed up its programming and funding of programs for this vulnerable demographic. We sent 29 high school students to Israel in February 2014 and are gearing up to send our next group in February 2016. We fully support the national Birthright program. This year we have partnered with ADL to help educate our students.
Continuing with this theme, we are bringing in Eric Fingerhut, former U.S. Congressman, current CEO of Hillel International, as our keynote speaker for this year’s annual meeting, 7:00 p.m. on June 11, to speak on “Israel, BDS, and anti-Semitism: Threats and Opportunities: How can we prepare our children for Jewish life at college?” Eric is a polished and engaging speaker, and this will be a critical talk for all of us to hear.
Additionally, I am thrilled to invite all of our college students, recent graduates, and high school seniors for a private, informal dinner meeting with Eric to discuss specific issues and concerns at 5:30, before the annual meeting. Please do not let your children pass up this opportunity to meet with one of the most influential leaders on the Jewish college scene. We will have a registration page up on our website soon. In the interim, you may register for this program by reply e-mail to me.
Shabbat shalom and Chag Shavuot sameach!