WASHINGTON (Jun. 19)
Jewish college students and faculty reacted strongly and demonstratively during the Mideast crisis, B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundations reported today. “The spirited concerns, emotional shock waves and eagerness for positive action that swept across the adult Jewish community also captured the campus.” the report stated.
Preliminary reports received here from Hillel directors throughout the country showed that students and faculty — many of whom had been nominal or non-participants in regular Jewish campus activities — responded speedily to the political tensions and the brief war. They organized rallies, teachings and mass letter-writing campaigns to The White House and Congress, circulated fact sheets and petitions, initiated fund-raising campaigns, and volunteered to replace Israeli workers who had been mobilized into the country’s defense force.
“The fact that it was final exam week at most schools didn’t dampen the outpouring of campus activity,” the report said. “Hillel directors were flooded with thousands of inquiries from students asking how they could replace Israeli workers called into the army. At a rally in Cleveland attended by 500 Western Reserve University students more than 200 applications for summer work in Israel were filled out within 15 minutes.”
“The response among Jewish faculty members was equally striking as Hillel became the central fund-collection agency for faculty groups,” the report continued. “Rabbi Max Ticktin, Hillel director at the University of Chicago, reported that a voluntary assessment undertaken by the school’s 300 Jewish faculty members quickly brought in $13,000. At Northwestern University, two faculty members began a fund-raising campaign that raised $10,000 as a starter. At Yale it was $16,000. Thousands of faculty signatures to statements of support for Israel were gathered in dozens of universities and were published in national and local publications.