STARLIGHT, Pa (Aug. 21)
Jewish college youth will gain voting representation on the policy board of the B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation next week when four undergraduates will be named to the board They will be elected from an assembly of 230 students at the week-long Hillel summer institute that opens Tuesday at Camp B’nai B’rith here. The four will serve one-year terms as voting members of Hillel’s national commission.
The action was instigated in March when the commission met with a representative group of Jewish activists from 32 campuses and leaders of 27 national Jewish organizations. The commission decided at that time to allow the college youth to join the policy board. The students, who were asked to comment on the Jewish “establishment;” voiced criticism of their “disenfranchised status” and the failure of the organized community to include the student generation into its decision-making structures, according to the B’nai B’rith.
Students from 110 American and Canadian schools will participate in the summer institute. They will be asked to devise a procedure for future elections that can provide for broader student representation among the undergraduate commissioners, including that of students not formally affiliated with the Hillel movement.
Rabbi Benjamin M. Kahn, Hillel’s national director; said the purpose of the move “is for the students themselves to determine how they’ll choose their representatives.” He said that the “proportion of students who will sit with the commission as voting members will increase substantially.”