Hillel / Israel

“Israel engagement…must enlarge our educators, our Hillel directors, and our student leaders”

Israel engagement, in responding to this micro-crisis and in the work more broadly, must instead do something radically different. It must enlarge our educators, our Hillel directors, and our student leaders: it has to give them the confidence to lead difficult conversations and to model thought-leadership on hard issues, such that engaging with Israel – with whatever partisan lens one chooses – is an intellectually, morally, and affectively compelling activity. Instead of name-calling – such as responding to calls for boycotts of Israel by demanding our own boycotts of news outlets or speakers we do not like – we must provide the space for the Jewish leaders to whom we entrust our children to actually lead, and the trust for them to do so in ways that will be developmentally appropriate and intellectually compelling for the campus environment in which they operate and live.

Yehuda Kurtzer, “For Israel engagement on campus: Coaches, not cheerleaders”, The Times of Israel (11 September 2011) [http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/coaches-not-cheerleaders/]