Posted by: Wayne L. Firestone on 12/5/2006 12:52:00 PM
If you want to see the Jewish world in a microcosm, visit Queens College in New York City. The campus is one of many schools in the Hillel movement that is a mosaic of Jewish communities: Orthodox, unaffiliated, Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Israelis, Americans, Persians, Syrians, Russians, Georgians… you name it.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the campus with the chairman of Hillel’s International Board of Governors (BOG), Edgar M. Bronfman, and his son, BOG member Adam Bronfman. Our host, Hillel Executive Director Moshe Shur, introduced us to Jewish students on campus from a wide variety of backgrounds and to university president, James L. Muyskens. President Muyskens pointed to the celebratory pluralism of Queens College Hillel as an example for the campus at large, where the student population is even more diverse.
Queens College Hillel works because it is an environment of openness, cooperation and mutual respect. And at Rutgers University, Hillel student leader Danielle Josephs has spearheaded an effort to create a Middle East diversity residence on campus in which women from different sides of the Middle East learn to coexist by living together.
Through our example and our work, Hillel is an indispensable resource for universities in promoting debate and coexistence.
Wayne L. Firestone
RE: A Microcosm of Diversity
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