The Charlotte and Jack J. Spitzer B'nai B'rith Hillel Forum on Public Policy Brings Together More Than 400 Jewish College Students from Around the World
Recording Industry Association of America president and chief executive officer Hilary Rosen, ice cream mogul and social activist Ben Cohen, documentary film maker Judith Helfand, and child rights advocate Craig Kielburger will be among the speakers addressing more than 400 Jewish college activists at the Charlotte and Jack J. Spitzer B'nai B'rith Hillel Forum on Public Policy, February 17-19, at the Renaissance Hotel, 999 Ninth St., N.W., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and held in conjunction with the Jewish Council on Public Affairs Plenum, the Spitzer Forum brings together Jewish college students from around the world for three days of intense discussion, workshops and training on a variety of social justice issues -- everything from poverty, to children's rights, to the environment.
This year, for the first time, the Spitzer Forum will offer students with an interest in the environment, grass-roots organizing, Israel or journalism specialized tracks with international leaders in these fields.
"Every year we see more and more student interest in social justice and community service," explained Hillel President and International Director Richard M. Joel. "The Spitzer Forum fuels this interest and helps student activists become more effective on campus and in their communities."
The special tracks are:
The Spitzer Forum is organized by Hillel's social justice initiative, Tzedek Hillel. Supported by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Tzedek Hillel is dedicated to pursuing justice and transforming communities through meaningful public service and social justice work. In addition to ongoing activities on college campuses, Tzedek Hillel fosters alternative spring break trips in which students provide critical service in communities in the United States and abroad.
- Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life Environment Track provides a select students with the necessary organizing tools and advocacy skills to become Jewish environmental leaders on campus.
- The Hillel American Jewish Press Association Journalism Track enables Jewish students with an interest in journalists to explore the Jewish and ethical issues of the profession with industry leaders. This year, a grant from the Estate of the Fred and Ethel Darmstaedter, through the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, will enable students to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and to speak with New York Times Reporter Joseph Berger, the author of Displaced Persons: Growing Up American After the Holocaust. The students will also meet with journalists from the Washington Post, New York Times, New Yorker, New Republic and National Public Radio. They will receive special briefings from the FBI and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
- The Israel Track, organized by Hillel's Department of Campus Israel Affairs, will enable students to advocate for Israel on their campuses. The Israel Track will include meetings with Israeli immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia and workshops with prominent pro-Israel activists.
- The Grassroots Organizing Track, cosponsored by AMOS: The National Jewish Partnership for Social Justice and the Jewish Social Justice Network, allows students to explore ways they can participate in and spearhead change-oriented social action and promote social and economic justice in the United States.