Question: What is Israel Inspires?
Answer: Israel Inspires is a year-long series of pro-Israel activities designed to create a pro-Israel renaissance on campus. Rutgers Hillel seeks to empower Jewish students from Rutgers and other campuses with the resources to express their pride in Israel and their Jewish heritage.
Israel Inspires is being supported by Jewish federations and Jewish agencies throughout New Jersey. The Israel Inspires program will not only inspire students in regard to Israel, it will also build a powerful sense of Jewish identity, community and pride. It will be a transformative, touchstone event in the lives of thousands of students.
The centerpiece of the Israel Inspires initiative is the Israel Inspires Weekend, October 9-12, featuring:
1) A community-wide Israel Peace & Pride Rally, Thursday evening, October 9
2) The Israel Inspires Block Party, Friday, October 10
3) Israel Inspires Weekend
For more general information about Rutgers Hillel, visit http://rutgershillel.org.
Question: How can I get involved?
College students and community members are encouraged to participate in public events throughout the week. Contact email@example.com or check http://rutgershillel.org/ for specific information as the event draws closer. Individuals may provide financial support by sending a check to Rutgers Hillel, 93 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08904.
Question: What is the relationship between this program and the National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement?
Answer: Organizers of the National Student Conference of the Palestine Solidarity Movement support university divestment from companies doing business with the State of Israel. They have promoted the destruction of the State of Israel and have refused to oppose terrorist attacks against Israelis.
Rutgers Hillel believes that a secure, economically healthy Israel is in the best position to make peace with its neighbors. Rutgers Hillel has sponsored a wide array of pro-Israel programs on campus in the last two years that appeal to students' interest in arts, culture, politics and social activities. Israel Inspires will concentrate these programs in a three-day celebration of Israel. Israel Inspires activities will contrast with the negative message of the Palestine conference.
The Palestinian conference at Rutgers presents enormous challenges to our community, but also a unique opportunity to focus increased resources and attention on of the most important issues facing both college students and the entire Jewish community.
Question: What is Hillel's reaction to the decision of Rutgers President Richard McCormick and New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey to allow this conference to proceed on campus?
Answer: In a statement to the press, President McCormick said: "The governor and I agreed that we find the views of New Jersey Solidarity to be reprehensible. But we also agreed that the best way to counter deplorable arguments is more discussion, not less, and that the appropriate place for this kind of discourse is the university. Governor McGreevey and I share the belief that the strength of our society depends on such openness."
We join the governor and university president in their revulsion at the message of this conference. Though we disagree with the views of New Jersey Solidarity, legal precedent favors free speech in this context. Rutgers Hillel made a tactical decision not to oppose this conference on campus. Instead, we will create a conference that promotes pride in Israel and Jewish identity.