The first, from Isaac Luria, Campaigns Director, J Street:-
It's J Street's first birthday!
Like any proud parent, we're already thinking about sending J Street to college - and how to pay for it...J Street is launching a campus outreach program advancing our core mission of opening up a healthy debate about Israel and broadening the definition of pro-Israel advocacy.
Our immediate plan is to raise $50,000 by this Friday to hire two new campus organizers to help build the pro-Israel, pro-peace campus movement...J Street believes that if America is going to play a role in promoting a peaceful future for Israel and the Middle East, then students today need a safe space to reconcile their support for Israel with the Jewish and democratic values on which they were raised.
We are taking over a small program that has served as the student voice of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement for several years. With your help, it will expand dramatically to scores of new universities.
The forces of the status quo understand well the importance of campus organizing. A handful of major donors on the political right-of-center have made multi-million dollar investments to promote unquestioning support of Israel on campus...
The second a report, disturbing on a Hillel branch on the West Coast:-
Under the leadership, guidance and advice of Ken Kramarz, Hillel's N. California regional head (see here, an alarming situation has emerged! The following are just a few examples of an increasingly dire situation (for background see also the eye-opening links I and II):
Hillel Denigrates Jewish Traditions
* On Yom Ha'Shoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), Hillel held a dance party. When students complained about holding a party on that solemn day, they were told that "most students don't really care."
* On Yom Hazikaron, memorial day for fallen IDF soldiers and terror victims, Hillel held a Cinco de Mayo BBQ celebrating Mexican heritage and pride.
* Ignoring repeated student requests, Hillel has not held Passover Seders for the last two years. Rather, last Passover, Hillel's walls bore signs that said "matzah sucks."
Hillel Cooperates with Anti-Israel Hate Group (SJP) and Marginalizes Pro-Israel Students
Hillel has welcomed leaders of the extremist anti-Israel Students for Justice in Palestine ("SJP") into its student organization meetings (see here) SJP leaders Allison Deger (see here) and Yaman Salahi (see here) who attend Hillel meetings, have been at the forefront of anti-Israel activities, including violent demonstrations at Israel's SF Consulate and Berkeley's divest-from-Israel campaign. This SJP divestment effort is part of international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigns against Israel. In their continuing effort to demonize Israel, those SJP leaders organized an "Israel Apartheid Week" (see here) on campus. Several of Hillel's student group leaders and members participated in SJP's annual Israel-bashing ritual known as "Israel Apartheid Week."
* Hillel has tacitly given SJP a platform to proselytize Jewish students and convert them to its anti-Israel cause.
* In allowing SJP into its facility and groups, Hillel has allowed itself to become a breeding ground for anti-Israel extremists and activists.
* Rather than support the pro-Israel students, Hillel, its affiliated students groups, and Kramarz have echoed SJP's smear campaign against pro-Israel students. Kramarz has done so in statements to media, to the Jewish community, and in a national conference call -- without soliciting the pro-Israel students' response to the SJP's false allegations (see here and here).
* These highly damaging and irresponsible actions of Kramarz and Hillel have helped the extremist SJP legitimize itself and marginalize the pro-Israel students at Berkeley - so much so that the SJP not only thanked notorious anti-Israel organizations such as the Muslim Students Association (MSA), but first and foremost thanked Hillel and its Jewish Student Union (JSU) for their solidarity and cooperation.
Ken Kramarz and Hillel Discourage Pro-Israel Students and Activities
* After the recent Israeli operation in Gaza, Kramarz urged students (on January 16 and 21) not to rally in solidarity with Israel or to carry Israeli flags, saying they would make the Jews look "bloodthirsty" and that the flag's Star of David represents militarism.
* When a pro-Israel student asked Kramarz on February 3 for Hillel to take a public stance against anti-Israel speakers such as Hamas/Hizbullah advocate (see here) and obsessive anti-Zionist Norman Finkelstein, whom the SJP presented in October 2008, Kramarz said he does not consider Norman Finkelstein to be anti-Israel (see here and here).
* When pro-Israel students protested the Finkelstein event, moderated by the notorious Hatem Bazian (see here), by briefly making noise while walking out, they were banned from using Hillel facilities unless they "publicly and formally" apologized to the SJP (Kramarz personally advocated this outrageous demand). But the SJP leaders who invited the Israel demonizer and their friends are welcome at Hillel.
Berkeley Hillel, under the advice and guidance of Hillel's regional head, Ken Kramarz, and with his direct involvement, has repeatedly failed Jewish and pro-Israel students.
Kramarz, who is funded by the S.F. Jewish Federation and Hillel International, has known of, and cooperated with, Berkeley Hillel's reprehensible conduct. Kramarz has whitewashed and concealed Hillel's misconduct while attempting to discredit those who spotlight the problems.
But read this.
Is anyone out there willing and capable of checking up on this and then taking needed action?