Hillel is steadfastly committed to the support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders as a member of the family of nations.
Vision for Israel
Hillel seeks to provide every Jewish student with the opportunity to explore and build an enduring relationship with Israel. Hillel desires that students are able to articulate why Israel plays an important role in their personal Jewish identities and how Israel continues to influence Jewish conversations, global Jewish peoplehood, and the world. (For more detail, click here.)
Global Approach to Israel
Hillel views Israel as a core element of Jewish life and a gateway to Jewish identification for students. Hillel promotes a continuum of experiences to engage students with Israel, educate their campus communities about Israel, and advocate for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state in peace and security. For students outside Israel, Hillel facilitates immersive travel experiences such as Taglit-Birthright Israel and Masa Israel Journey programs to advance students’ personal relationships with Israel. For Israeli students, Hillel’s presence at universities throughout Israel provides them with the opportunity to explore and celebrate their Jewish identities. Hillel’s Center for Israel Engagement will bring together and augment Hillel’s Israel engagement, education, and advocacy programs and resources to create meaningful Israel experiences and conversations.
Hillel welcomes a diversity of student perspectives on Israel and strives to create an inclusive, pluralistic community where students can discuss matters of interest and/or concern about Israel and the Jewish people in a civil manner. We encourage students’ inquiry as they explore their relationship with Israel. We object to labeling, excluding or harassing any students for their beliefs and expressions thereof. As an indispensible partner to the university, Hillel seeks to facilitate civil discourse about Israel in a safe and supportive college environment that is fertile for dialogue and learning.
Standards of Partnership
Hillel welcomes, partners with, and aids the efforts of organizations, groups, and speakers from diverse perspectives in support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Hillel will not partner with, house, or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice:
• Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders;
• Delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel;
• Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel;
• Exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.
Adoption of Hillel’s Israel Guidelines
Local Hillels are encouraged to convene their stakeholders to review these standards and create their own Israel guidelines that are consistent with this document and reflect the local environment. These guidelines should be shared with students, partners, speakers, and other stakeholders to ensure they are aware of and adhere to Hillel’s Israel guidelines.
Appendix A: Sample Israel Guidelines by Local Hillels
Guidelines for Israel Programming: Hillel of San Diego
(Adopted October 19, 2010)
In keeping with our mission, Hillel of San Diego should continue to place an emphasis on maintaining strong and positive relationships with pro-Israel student groups on all of our San Diego campuses. Together with the students, Hillel should promote proactive Israel programming, focusing on a wide range of Israeli cultural, social, educational, religious and political activities that serve to strengthen students’ connection with Israel and to provide new ways of engaging uninvolved students. In addition, Hillel should continue to facilitate personal experiences such as Taglit-Birthright Israel trips, stays of longer duration and programs that allow interactions with Israelis.
An essential aspect of Hillel’s proactive approach is maintaining strong relationships with our host universities, their administrations, faculties and staff. Hillel of San Diego also invites partnership with local and national organizations whose Israel agenda supports Hillel’s mission and whose resources might be valuable to students.
When inviting Israel related speakers or activities to campus, Hillel is committed to coordinating with student groups. As a pluralistic organization, we trust students to engage thoughtfully in the marketplace of ideas and, at the same time, we strive to ensure a balance of political perspectives. Hillel will not invite, support or otherwise endorse a speaker who delegitimizes the State of Israel, demonizes Israel or promotes racism or hatred of any kind. Hillel is strongly opposed to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
In the face of anti-Israel activity on campus, Hillel of San Diego should work with pro-Israel student groups to be prepared with a strong response. All efforts should be made to ensure that students are safe, both physically and emotionally, that the response directly addresses accusations against Israel, and that students understand Hillel’s pluralistic approach.
Hillel of Greater Philadelphia: Guidelines for Hillel Programming
(Adopted March 11, 2010)
Hillel of Greater Philadelphia (“Hillel”) is the platform for a broad-based Jewish student community. Hillel provides resources for a spectrum of Jewish, political, religious, social, and intellectual expression.
Underlying Principles: Hillel’s Mission is to “Engage Jewish undergraduate and graduate students in Jewish life experiences, and to encourage them to identify as Jews within a Jewish community.” Its Core Values include Jewish self-authorship; diversity in Jewish community and in the spiritual, religious, cultural, and intellectual expressions of Jewish life; Israel as the Jewish Homeland; and Activism on behalf of Israel, the global Jewish People, and the pursuit of Justice.
Hillel requires participants in programs it sponsors to act and speak with civility (i.e. the recognition of the dignity of every human being, even with those with whom one may sharply disagree) when referring to individuals, organizations, or Jewish ideologies.
General Rule: Hillel applies these principles to the use of its resources and facilities. Hillel considers the context of a proposed program, the broader characteristics of college/university life, issues inherent in being a young adult, and the needs of the Jewish and university communities. Hillel is positively inclined towards supporting:
• Jewish students of diverse political and ideological perspectives that seek to express their own views and explore the views of others;
• Students who support Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, existing within secure borders and at peace with its neighbors, to explore the spectrum of opinions about what is needed to actualize that vision.
• Individuals or organizations that offer disparate voices on communal or ideological issues that are presented in a civil manner.
Hillel is inclined not to support individuals or organizations with consistent, demonstrated patterns of incivility. Hillel also is inclined not to support individuals or organizations whose purpose is to advocate actions (such as boycotts, divestment, sanctions and judicial action) intended to harm Israel or Jewish communities, organizations, institutions, or individuals because of their political or ideological positions. Similarly, Hillel is inclined not to support individuals or organizations whose principal platform is the advocacy of such action.