Letter to the Editor: Guilford College Hillel declares itself open

Guilford College Hillel
April 2, 2015

Guilford College Hillel has taken a huge step in practicing our core values of community, equality, integrity and diversity: we have declared ourselves to be an open Hillel. Consistent with the beliefs that drew us to Guilford, we are striving to build an inclusive and accessible Jewish community on our campus.

At Guilford’s Hillel, we have a wide range of Jewish voices. We have Zionists, anti-Zionists and everything in between. On our campus, it is imperative that Hillel be a place that is for all Jewish students, irrespective of their political ideology. As an open Hillel, we believe that Jewish students should be supported in expressing their Jewish identity and values in the way that is most meaningful to them.

As of now, Hillel International’s Standards of Partnership state that an organization bearing the name Hillel cannot partner with groups supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and that Hillel must support Israel. If we want to ensure that all students feel welcome and supported in the one Jewish organization at Guilford, it is crucial that inclusiveness be the paramount value of our community. As an open Hillel we can embrace the political diversity of our community and will use our differences to promote our personal, intellectual and Jewish growth.

To be an open Hillel is to welcome all perspectives on Israel-Palestine. By declaring ourselves open, we affirm our organization to be an accepting place for all on Guilford’s campus.

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