Hillel's Vision for Israel on Campus
- One of the central objectives of Israel education is to generate and cultivate among students a passion about Israel and to cultivate within them a sense of personal attachment with the country and its people.
- Israel touches on dimensions of collective and national Jewish identity and is intrinsically linked to Jewish Peoplehood. These dimensions, linked to values of kol yisrael areivim zeh l’zeh (mutual responsibility) and tikum olam, lie in creative tensions with other contemporary cultural and sociological trends.
- Israel provides a rich and relevant multitude of educational moments for students- we need to make these more explicit and accessible. We need to cultivate conversations about Israel and relationships with Israel, and avoid seeing Israel as a consumer product and our students as consumers of Israel program products.
- Israel as a multi-dimensional, dynamic and constantly evolving idea and reality provides a flexible and rich set of entry points into Jewishness, Jewish identity and Jewish community for our students. The use of a multitude of such diverse entry points is integral to our shared educational mission.
- The direct experience of students with Israel in Israel is critical. The experience of birthright israel awakens and furthers Jewish journeys for students; participation in long-term programs in Israel generates student leadership and sophisticated involvement with Israel on campus and is itself a reflection of Hillel’s success in strengthening Jewish identity.
- Israel is both an end in itself, a core value of Jewish life, and a means to engage students in a conversation about themselves as individual Jews and as members of the Jewish People. Israel education is both an obligation stemming from Hillel’s commitment to strengthening Jewish life and an opportunity to create meaningful Jewish experiences for students.
- As Hillel professionals, educating students with Israel begins with clarification of values, perspectives and visions of Israel, and with an experience of Jewish sovereignty in Israel. For this reason Hillel staff need professional development, direct experiences with Israel, and reflective discussion and learning opportunities about Israel.
- Hillel's Charles and Lynn Schusterman International Center is responsible for advancing Israel education on campus by:
- Engaging local professionals and students in reflection and analysis of current Israel education and the development of a local Hillel vision on Israel education, based on these guiding principles.
- Training and empowering local professionals as informal Israel educators and mentors
- Engaging student leaders in reflection, leadership development and education about Israel
- Generating and allocating Israel education resources
- Measuring and evaluating the success of local Hillels and the SIC in the area of Israel education.
- Israel education on campus should have as its foundations:
- A safe space for students to express a wide spectrum of views regarding their relationships with Israel, as informed by Hillel’s policy statement on Israel.
- An emphasis on Israel’s complexity and the existence of multi entry points for different kinds of students
- A focus on immersive, affective and transformative experiences for students regarding Israel
- A content base emphasizing a renewed effort to make the Hebrew language accessible, relevant and meaningful, Israeli culture and cultural expressions and the direct contact with Israeli peers.
- A coherent educational process about Israel that goes beyond an array of isolated Israel programs and events.