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UCLA’s Jewish Newsmagazine Spring 2012/Sivan 5772
JLC’s Above the Noise Benefit Concert, featuring the Maccabeats, was just one of the Jewish events that took place on the UCLA campus this quarter; LOOK INSIDE to see what other Jewish students were writing, organizing, and debating.
Page 2 Spring 2012
Table of Contents 3
Ha' A m Spring 2012 Sivan 5772
Editor-in-Chief Jacob Elijah Goldberg
Judaism Reading Yeshayahu Leibowitz: a Jewish philosophy for the 21st century ... 3
Layout Editor Tessa Nath
by Joshua Friedlander
Content Editors Diane Bani-Esraili Alan Naroditsky
Education Answering the call: Jerusalem Online U as a supplementary education for college students ... 4-5 by Tessa Nath
Campus News The Olive Tree Initiative’s ‘Month of Ideas’: conflict education through humor, food, and constant debate ... 6-7 by Jacob Elijah Goldberg
Contributing Writer Avinoam Baral Jerusalem Correspondent Joshua Friedlander
Ultra-Orthodox Jews, unemployment, and the Israeli economy: a philosophical and fiscal crisis ... 8-9 by Alan Naroditsky
Senior Writers Diane Bani-Esraili Alan Naroditsky Tessa Nath
Opinion ‘Outfitters’ of outrage: Urban Outfitters sells ‘Holocaust t-shirt’ and offends ... 10-11 by Diane Bani-Esraili
The Heart2Heart project: offering a new type of Shabbat experience ... 11 by Avinoam Baral
About the Cover
Photo by Eytan Davidovits
This April, UCLA’s Jewish Leadership Council — a group comprised of leaders of over twenty student organizations on campus — teamed up with the Office of Residential Life to hold its second annual Above the Noise Benefit Concert, featuring the Jewish internet sensation know as ‘The Maccabeats.’ The concert was a celebration of Jewish life at UCLA and a fundraiser for the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation. The MC at the event was Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” and who received her Ph.D. in neuroscience at UCLA. The event attracted students, alumni, and community members alike, and will hopefully be one of many future Jewish events that the Jewish Leadership Council will bring to this campus. The Jewish Leadership Council exists to promote unity and collaboration for the Jewish community at UCLA by establishing a distinctly unified voice that represents the entire community, to create a forum for collaboration within the Jewish community, and to address issues on campus that are related to, but not limited to, the Jewish community including issues that require a unified stance from the community.
Photographer Eytan Davidovits Ha’Am Magazine 118 Kerckhoff Hall 308 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024 www.haam.org © 2011 UCLA Communications Board The UCLA Communications Board has a media grievance procedure for resolving grievances against any of its publications. For a copy of the complete procedure, contact Student Media UCLA at 118 Kerckhoff Hall, 310 825-2787, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The UCLA Communications Board fully supports the University of California’s policy on non-discrimination. The student media reserves the right to reject or modify advertising portraying disability, age, sex, or sexual orientation. It is the expectation of the Communications Board that the student media will exercise the right fairly and with sensitivity. Any person believing that any advertising in the student media violates the Board’s policy on non-discrimination should communicate his or her complaints in writing to the Business Manager, (name of student medium), 118 Kerckhoff Hall, Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024. For assistance with housing discrimination problems, call: UCLA Housing Office (310) 825-4491, or the Housing Rights Center (213) 387-8400. All opinions expressed in this newsmagazine are solely that of the author, not of the Ha’Am Editorial Board or the UCLA Communications Board. Letters to the editor should be directed to email@example.com
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Reading Yeshayahu Leibowitz: a Jewish philosophy for the 21st century
Photos courtesy of www.flickr.com
Jerusalem Correspondent Questions about Judaism’s place within Israeli society have been around since before the existence of the Jewish state, but there have been few coherent answers put forward. One of the most outspoken voices on this issue, as well as others relating to Jewish identity in the State-of-Israel era, was the scientist, teacher, and philosopher Yeshayahu Leibowitz. I recently read Judaism, Human Values and the Jewish State, a collection of his essays focusing on these subjects. Leibowitz was notorious in Israel for his unpopular and unsentimental outlook, flowing from a cold rationalism rooted in Maimonides. In the first section he deals with the meaning behind various halakhic rituals. In Leibowitz’s view, all of the mitzvoth are nothing more or less than an expression of obedience to God’s will. Any attempt to read a deeper significance into them, an emotional or experiential aspect, is a distortion of the true meaning of the Torah. It is precisely in the prosaic, repetitive fulfilment of the halakha that man can grow closest to his creator. In keeping with this, Leibowitz similarly sees prayer as purely functional, and devoid of any element of pathos. “[P]rayer is not intended to satisfy a need,” he writes. “Nor is it the spontaneous outpouring of the soul.” Rather, as a fixed set of benedictions recited by every Jew, in every situation, prayer becomes the fulfilment of a religious duty, a milestone on the path to self-perfection. Similarly, religion has nothing to say on the subject of ethics – in contrast to the ideas proposed by other religious thinkers such as Reginald Neubuhr. Such an approach is diametrically opposed to the emotionally charged, ecstatic prayer rituals of the Hasiddim and their spiritual forebears – the Kabbalists. And it
is at this latter group that Leibowitz aims the greatest part of his ammunition. In his view, the corruption of Judaism affected by the false Messianism and ultimate apostasy of Sabbatai Zevi was a direct result of study of the mystical, borderline heretical doctrines of the Kabbalah. Leibowitz sees kedusha, holiness, as coming only from the attempts of man to draw closer to God; no object, land, or people is intrinsically holy. The goal of traditional Judaism is that man aspire to perfect himself. In contrast, the Kabbalah sees man as the most important creature in the universe, toward whom God directs special care and attention. Leibowitz acknowledges the many great Jewish thinkers who opposed themselves
to publicly proclaim that Israel needed to unilaterally withdraw from the territories captured in the Six-Day War, threatening that otherwise Israel could become “a police-state, with all that this implies for education, free speech, and democratic institutions.” While not many shared this view, it is interesting to note that this is exactly the charge routinely, and vociferously, levelled at Israel in more recent times. Whether such a withdrawal is feasible, or justifiable from a security perspective, is another question altogether. Leibowitz breezes over it in a short paragraph, stating that given the anyway bleak prospects for peace in the short to medium term, the Arabs would be forced to come to terms
In Leibowitz’s view, all of the mitzvoth are nothing more or less than an expression of obedience to God’s will. Any attempt to read a deeper significance into them, an emotional or experiential aspect, is a distortion of the true meaning of the Torah.”
to his view – Judah HaLevi, Maharal and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, to name a few. Nevertheless, he was prepared to go against them on the basis of his reading of the “Great Eagle” Maimonides. The students of Rabbi Kook (who Leibowitz scorns as “not intellectually equipped to understand his teachings”) were amongst the founders of Gush Emunim, a quasi-political messianic group which dedicated itself to the propagation of Jewish settlements in the contested areas of the Golan Heights and the West Bank. They were guilty of a “fetishization” of the Land of Israel, he claims, and in this respect came close to idolatry! Such leftist views from a respected Orthodox thinker were not well received and yet Leibowitz continued to reiterate his positions with unflinching courage. He was amongst the first Israeli intellectuals
with their diminished borders. He evinced this pessimistic outlook in light of the fundamental problem posed by one land viewed by two peoples as their ancestral homeland. Like many great thinkers of the left, Leibowitz perhaps open himself up to accusations of thinking in ideals, while ignoring the situation on the ground. Another controversial view is found in his writings on religion and state. Leibowitz champions a total separation of the two as a way of saving Judaism from being a “kept mistress” of a secular government. He relates that David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the State, told him: “I well understand why you demand so insistently the separation of religion from the state. Your object is that the Jewish religion reinstate itself as an independent factor so the political authority will be com-
pelled to deal with it. I will never agree to separation…I want the state to hold religion in the palm of its hand.” In Leibowitz’s view, the destiny of the State was as a forum in which the future of Judaism could be discussed. After independence, the halakha of the Shulchan Arukh (code of Jewish law) had nothing to say about questions of governance, since these had never been around in the time of Jewish history when it was composed. Thus, what was needed was a fresh discussion of all of the questions of halakhic statehood. Leibowitz urged that only an independent, vibrant rabbinate – one not beholden to the state – was capable of taking on these issues. Any decisions made by the “atheist-clerical” coalition in the Knesset on such issues as who is a Jew, Sabbath observance, and civil marriages, were risible. On women’s place in Judaism, Leibowitz urges a new approach. The study of Torah should be made open to all Jews, even to the extent of mixed batei midrash (study halls), as in his opinion the custom prohibiting women’s study is nothing more than a convention. When the existence of Orthodox Judaism is under threat, it is necessary and constructive to revise the traditional practices. One of the criticisms levelled at Leibowitz is that he was a cold rationalist, incapable of seeing the emotional side of Jewish existence. Yet in fact a careful reading of this collection reveals the opposite – a passionate, true idealist; one who learned from Maimonides the great majesty of Reason, and applied it to the issues closest to his heart, Zionism and the Jewish people. As the twentieth anniversary of the book (and the author’s death in 1994) draws near, it is worthwhile to consider anew how our generation is answering the questions Leibowitz still raises. Joshua Friedlander is a student at Machon Lev, Jerusalem Institute of Technology. He is a serious threat to misinformation.
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Answering the call:
Jerusalem Online U as a supplementary education for college students
Layout Editor and Senior Writer In order to make life a little simpler and to make sense of a chaotic world, humans subconsciously overlook pressing problems, preventing themselves from seeing the harsh reality in front of them and focusing on a delusional form of safety instead. We can no longer ignore the growing anti-Semitism on American university campuses; the Jewish community needs to relentlessly combat this evil in the hopes of forming a stronger, more resilient generation. Jeff Rubin, Associate Vice President for Communications at Hillel, explains, “While we take all incidents seriously, most reported ‘anti-Semitic’ occurrences may be simple vandalism, inter-personal hostility, or simple ignorance of symbols that are offensive to Jews.” However enticing such a trivial dismissal of anti-Semitism might be, the Anti-Defamation League reported “260 anti-Semitic acts on college campuses across the United States and 5,126 communitywide” from 20042007 alone. The fact of the matter remains: many Americans are fundamentally unaware of or unconcerned with anti-Semitic sentiments on college campuses. Many of those who fail to acknowledge anti-Semitic sentiments on college campuses often argue that anti-Israel sentiments are being confused for anti-Semitism. They contend that anti-Israel sentiments are widespread, but maintain that antiSemitism remains relatively low. The danger with this mentality is that the rationally acceptable, politically framed anti-Israel attitudes quickly descend into blatant anti-Semitism. For example, in February 2005, a Palestinian club (a political organization) from a New York-area college posted a sign showing the Star of David (a religious symbol) morphing into a swastika, and reading: “History Repeats: Look What Hitler Taught Some of His Victims.” Only a fuzzy, easily erasable line separates critics from hatred of the Jews and hatred of Israel. In terms of graphical representation, an Israeli flag equated to a swastika constitutes
nonsensical slander, but is not openly accepted anti-Semitism; at its worst it is covert anti-Semitism hiding under the guise of a political issue. On the other hand, upon removing the blue lines and frame from the flag, the remaining Magen David shown melting into a swastika represents unarguable anti-Semitism. Semantics, then, separate socially acceptable forms of criticism from globally recognized hate crimes. The reality is that Israel is a Jewish state, and therefore, much of its criticism is infused with anti-Semitism. As young Jews at one of the top universities in the United States, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves about contemporary issues facing the Jewish community, and serve as liaisons between the Jewish people and the rest of the world. Far more ignorance and apathy surrounds Israel,
They seek “to inspire, unify, and activate people of all ages as passionate supporters of Israel and the Jewish people.” JOU offers four online multimedia courses, to be completed at the student’s leisure, with a range of high school to college to adult level material. The options are: Positive Psych and Judaism; Cinema: the Jewish Lens; Israel Inside/Out; and Judaism 101. JOU’s West Coast Director Jessica Felber remembers her time as a student at UC Berkeley: “I spent about 60% of my day on my laptop, and I know that is not uncommon! I loved the idea of being able to learn more about Judaism and Israel in a fun and engaging way without having to go anywhere. I could take a break from Facebook or writing a paper to watch a cool and funny class about love, success, or pleasure and be paid $100 for it! I realized that this is the best way
As someone already heavily involved in Israel advocacy on my campus, I benefitted greatly from Israel Inside/Out, which reinforced many of the concepts and facts I knew prior to taking the course, and expanded my vocabulary and knowledge base for use in pro-Israel endeavors.” — Zach Garber from the University of Texas
Jews, and the Middle East conflict in general than we are comfortable admitting, and this ignorance and apathy is definitely not limited to non-Jews. A video produced by StandWithUs (an international organization dedicated to bringing peace to the Middle East by educating about Israel and the misinformation that often surrounds the Middle East conflict) that polled UCLA students’ knowledge about Israel proves this disheartening reality. They discovered that besides being woefully unaware that Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East, many embarrassingly mistook the Islamic fundamentalist terrorist group Hamas for the Mediterranean dip humus. In order to fill in the gap and provide the necessary educational supplement for Jewish college students, in 2009 Rabbi Raphael Shore founded JerusalemOnlineU.com, an “online portal for Jewish distance learning with a vision to transform Jewish and Israel education for the 21st century.”
for college students to learn about their heritage. If I gained so much from these courses, I knew other college students would as well, so why not share the wealth?” Even for students who consider themselves moderately well-versed in Jewish history, culture, or politics, Zach Garber from the University of Texas Austin believes the classes still hold striking relevance. He states, “As someone already heavily involved in Israel advocacy on my campus, I benefitted greatly from Israel Inside/Out, which reinforced many of the concepts and facts I knew prior to taking the course, and expanded my vocabulary and knowledge base for use in pro-Israel endeavors.” Each course covers a different area of interest from a Jewish perspective and educates students about contemporary political issues, which helps them incorporate Jewish principles and practices in their everyday lives. The instructors represent a prestigious
slice of Jewish academic pie, including such notables as former Harvard Professor Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, Princeton professor Bernard Lewis, and former UN Ambassador Dore Gold. “Having worked for many Jewish and Israel organizations,” Felber notes, “I know what it means to be passionate about one’s work. But I never expected to find the dedication and love for a mission that I found within people at JOU. Here is a typical example of the kind of people I work with. JOU President, Amy Holtz, owned and operated 25 “Party City” stores in Pennsylvania and she was by all means very successful. After she began learning more about her heritage, she decided she wanted more out of life than a large bank account — so she sold all of her stores and took her business talents to the non-profit world, where she has since built up JOU to incredible measures. The people who work at JOU have grabbed at the opportunity to dedicate their lives to a cause much larger than themselves and though it was not what I was expecting, I must admit, it is extremely contagious!” Besides the extraordinary caliber of administrators and teachers, JOU offers an optional stipend for college students attending an accredited university or college, hoping to build a more confident Jewish presence on campuses across the United States. Tyrone Pike from the University of Miami had the following to say of his experience taking the Judaism 101 class: “It was very inspirational and enjoyable. The reason it took me so long to complete it was due to taking notes and analyzing the content and ideas. Some of the ideas were very beautiful and others showed the reality that we still have a long way to go before peace will be present. Hopefully in the future, people will appreciate the love and devotion we have to G-d and join us in unity, instead of attacking us. Until that time, I will try to be one of the many who are a ‘light unto the nations.’” Reflecting on her connection to JOU and its mission to provide Jewish students the opportunity to learn more about themselves in their heritage at
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[Education] Page 5 Spring 2012
their own pace, Felber revealed: “I have dedicated my life to Israel and the Jewish People because I see it as an essential component of who I am. I feel an unbreakable connection with every Jew and an undying love for the Land of Israel. I am a Jew before I am anything else. A great rabbi once said to me, ‘First figure out what you’re willing to die for, then live for it.’ I repeat that to myself every day.”
To learn more about how to enroll, contact the author and/or visit JOU at JerusalemOnlineU.com.
Tessa Nath is a first-year English major and French and Geography/ Environmental Studies minor at UCLA. She enjoys roaming the UCLA campus at night.
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[Campus News] The Olive Tree Initiative’s ‘Month of Ideas’: c o n f l i c t Jacob Elijah Goldberg Editor-in-Chief
Throughout the month of May, the Olive Tree Initiative at UCLA planned a series of events aimed at educating the campus community and offering a forum for civil discourse and debate about international conflict resolution. These events attracted students of various backgrounds, as well as non-student community members. For many of the attendees, discussing controversial, deeply personal matters of identity and conflict in a secure, respectful setting was a totally new experience.
Sultans of Satire Comedy Show
In an effort to make its programming accessible to new students, three of the five “Month of Ideas” events were held on the Hill. The first was a performance featuring a comedy troupe known as the Sultans of Satire. Comprised of an Arab, a Jew, and two Iranians, the Sultans of Satire aimed their off-color humor at targets that even the most diverse audience could unanimously enjoy. Elham Jazab shared stories about her experiences with Persian body hair, also pointing out the “one eyebrow” shared by the Iranian section of the audience. Mike Batayeh, a Jordanian-American from Detroit, described the arranged-marriage customs in his family. “You should see my family tree; it looks like a f#(k!n’ wreath.” Noel Elgrably, the son of a FrenchMoroccan father and an Israeli-Moroccan mother, explained what the term “Sephardic” means. “It’s like an Arab, a Latino, and a Jew all rolled into one. It’s a f#(k!n’ cultural trainwreck, right? Every time I get angry at someone, I don’t know whether I should knock up their sister and leave or bomb their f^(k!n’ house or complain about the humidity.” Obviously, these jokes sound better in real life.
My So-Called Enemy Film Screening
Photos courtesy of Betsy Tsai
DINNER AND DEBATE: Hussein Ibish advocates for a two-state solution (top); students from UCLA’s Turkish Cultural Club and the Armenian Students’ Association discuss their fraught mutual history over dinner (middle); Professor Arieh Saposnik educates the group on the history of Jewish and Palestinian nationalisms.
Next, OTI at UCLA screened the documentary film My So-Called Enemy, which follows a group of teenage Israeli and Palestinian girls through the seven years following their participation in a program called “Building Bridges for Peace.” During their time at the camp in New Jersey and their return to their respective sides of the separation barrier, the girls get to know their “enemies” as human beings. They stay in touch, even while some pursue ca-
reers in the IDF and others are subjected to interminable delays at Israeli security checkpoints on the way to work every day. The film, to whatever degree that it is accurate in its portrayal of the girls’ relationships, exposes the reality that even the most unbalanced of political structures need not impinge on friendships between individuals; and those friendships are the foundation of whatever eventual peace the region will see.
Fruits of Discourse: a Conversation About Modern Turkish-Armenian Tensions Also on the Hill was a discussion between Turkish and Armenian students in a private De Neve dining room. Over thirty students who had never come to an OTI event before showed up for the free meal and two hours of intense conversation. The history of what many people refer to as the “Armenian Genocide” was presented by members of each affiliation, and every time an argument was made as to whether the genocide should be recognized or reparations should be paid or a Turkish Studies department should be established at UCLA, there was always another fact offered that revealed complexities in these issues that many had not considered before. Many of the attendees had never spoken to someone from the “other side” about Turkish-Armenian relations before, and the experience was jarring. But even when the allotted two hours were up, most people stayed behind to continue talking and exploring the option of planning an educational trip to Turkey and Armenia for UCLA students. This past spring, OTI at UC Irvine sent a delegation to Ankara and Yerevan to speak to journalists, activists, and government officials about the status of Turkish-Armenian relations in each country. With all the new interest and human capital, something similar might be in store for OTI at UCLA.
Perspectives on Partition I: Ibish vs. Aslan
In addition to the two Hill events, OTI at UCLA also organized a two-part debate about proposals for one-state and two-state solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Part One was waged between Dr. Reza Aslan — an Iranian-American scholar, member of the National Security Council and author of No god but God: the Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam — and Hussein Ibish — a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine and author of What’s Wrong With the One-State Agenda? Why Ending the Occupation and Peace with Israel is Still the Palestinian National Goal.
[Campus News] e d u c a t i o n t h r o u g h h u m o r, f o o d , a n d c o n s t a n t d e b a t e Aslan, known for his pessimism regarding the prospects for peace in the Middle East, explained his reluctant support for the one-state solution, arguing that “we are further away from peace than ever. The illusion of the peace process has become an addiction....The number of settlers is increasing. There is nothing left that could conceivably be called a Palestinian state. Israel must now either become an apartheid state or become a single, unified, binational state.” Ibish, on the other hand, refused to accept Aslan’s predictions. To Ibish, what is and is not possible is determined by the political will of people who make decisions on either side of the conflict. “The two-state solution is achievable because it is in everyone’s interest. Practically, legally, politically.” Ibish cited statistics that indicate that a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians prefer a two state solution and that land swaps can ensure that 80 percent of Israeli settlers are annexed into Israel. But to enact this solution, the leadership on each side would need to behave more consistently with the wills of their constituents, and that reality remains ever-elusive. However, there was a slight disconnect between the presenters that prevented their arguments from being relevant to one another. Aslan, rather than advocating for any solution, presented a vision of a reality that he believes will inevitably emerge from the current stalemate. But Ibish advocated for the two-state solution, giving the audience an idea of what kind of activism peace would require from politicians, diplomats, and even students. “If you want me to be honest with you,” Aslan said, “I think that what we are going to see is a process through which the demographic balance [between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea] tips into apartheid, ethnic cleansing, until finally you have international mediation that leads to confederacy.” “If,” Ibish responded, “I wanted to exercise a radical dystopian imaginative leap of that kind, if I wanted to be Hieronymus Bosch of Israel and the Palestinians, sure, I can arrive at your conclusion after all this horror. Well, I’m not willing to go there.
Perspectives on Partition II: Suissa, Seidler-Feller, & Saposnik
The final event of the “Month of Ideas” could be thought of as the Jewish portion of the one-state/two-state debate. Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, Professor Areih Saposnik, and David Suissa came to campus to present their perspectives on a post-conflict Israel/Palestine would look. At first,
Page 7 Spring 2012
there wasn’t much of a debate; all three of the presenters agreed, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, that partition between a Jewish and a Palestinian state is the best, most achievable option. Rabbi Seidler-Feller, director of the UCLA Hillel, expressed his support for the peace process and identified two obstacles to it: settlements and refusal of Arabs to accept that “the Jewish people have come home.” Suissa, president of TRIBE Media Corp./Jewish Journal, urged the large classroom audience that alternatives to the peace process should be considered while it remains a failed effort. He cited Dennis Ross’s complaint that a major flaw in the peace process begun at Oslo was the lack of enforcement of the “incitement law” — peace cannot be achieved while “Jew-hatred is still taught in Palestinian schools.” Until education is reformed in the region, Suissa asserted, there will be no foundation upon which the peace process can stand. And Suissa went on, coming closer to advocating for a one-state solution than did the other Jewish panelists. He said that Jews have as much a claim to the West Bank as they do to Israel proper, and that land is for the Jews to voluntarily give up, but only as long as peace is guaranteed in return. Saposnik complemented the discussion with an academic analysis of nationalism, ethnic identity, and how they affect the current conflict. He engaged with claims that there is no need for a Jewish nationstate in the modern era, pointing out that we are still nowhere near the post-national age, and if any nation is to give up its right to national self-determination, there is no reason for the Jewish people to be the first. After the initial presentations were completed, the event heated up when the panelists accepted a series of challenging questions from Dina Sharif, a senior at UCLA of Palestinian descent, just minutes before the event was to end. When the time expired, the conversation was not nearly over, so about twenty of the students in attendance, along with Professor Saposnik, regrouped in a circle on the grass in Dickson Court to continue talking. By the end, Dina said, “I like Professor Saposnik. I may not like his opinions at all, but I respect him.” Like all Olive Tree Initiative programs, the Month of Ideas gave the UCLA community the opportunity to learn about conflict and converse honestly in the most stimulating yet unlikely of circumstances.
Jacob Elijah Goldberg is a second-year International Development Studies major at UCLA. He ditched all of his classes and forewent personal grooming to finish Ha’Am.
Photos courtesy of Betsy Tsai
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: Reza Aslan predicts a one-state catastrophe (top); History Professor James Gelvin moderates the one-state vs. two-state debate (middle); students from UCLA and UC Berkeley continue the conversation at UCLA’s ‘sunken gardens’ after the event ends (bottom).
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, s w e J x o d o h t r Ultra-O Unemployment,
a philosophical and fiscal crisis Alan Naroditsky
Content Editor and Senior Writer As Americans and inevitable participants in this country’s financial infrastructure, we are all acutely aware of the unforgiving crisis engulfing the economy of the United States and spreading to the rest of the world. In the wake of the ailing economy, “unemployment” is a term that has slithered its way out of economics textbooks and into our immediate consciousness. Historically, unemployment has served as a faithful barometer of economic health. On the most basic level, if consumer confidence is high, people’s willingness to borrow, invest, and spend grows, increasing the demand for production, and ultimately resulting in greater levels of employment as firms keep pace with the elevated demand for goods and services. However, if consumers lose faith in the well-being of the economy for any reason, the opposite happens — people’s willingness to borrow, invest, and spend falls, decreasing the demand for production and lowering the level of employment as firms slash expenditures to meet
the dwindling demand for the goods and services they provide. Of course, the relationship between unemployment and a country’s economic health is far more complex, but even from such a simple framework it is clear how unemployment can snowball into an economic catastrophe: if firms hire fewer people, it becomes more difficult to find work, and if people cannot find work, they have less money to spend, ultimately forcing firms to produce less and to reduce the number of workers they employ. According to Haaretz, the distressed global economy has not had a similar effect on the Israeli workforce. On February 29th, 2012, the widely-read newspaper reported that “unemployment in Israel fell to a 32-year low in 2011 despite economic troubles shaking the world…the rate of unemployed among men plunged from 6.8 to 5.6 percent.” The article makes sure to avoid letting the reader escape with an entirely rosy outlook, noting that “underlying data forming the Composite Index of Indicators shows pressure building for unemployment to rise.” Despite the confidence-instilling report, the expected increase in the unemployment rate may not
be the most pressing issue facing the Israeli economy — at least not in the way this article defines the term. Although there is not a singular, definitive, or universally-adopted measure of unemployment, it is characterized by jobless individuals who are actively searching and willing to work. Therefore, a person who does not seek employment for any reason (for example, someone disillusioned after a lengthy and fruitless job search) is not considered unemployed, sparking con-
Israel’s economy” which outlines the effects of a much more accurate measure of unemployment. The article explains that “Ultra-Orthodox Jews, or ‘Haredim,’ are a devout tight-knit community who make up 8 to 10 percent of Israel’s 7.7 million population, with eight children per family on average. Many are supported by the state and live well below the poverty line.” Furthermore, the Bank of Israel recently reported that nearly 55 percent of ultra-Orthodox men do not work, down
... my answer is not in facts and figures. We believe the world will end if it is left with no Torah study, even for a moment.” — Meir Gross, a Haredi Jew
siderable debate about whether or not to incorporate such a person into the unemployment rate. If the number of people not seeking employment is particularly high, the unemployment rate publicized by the government may not reflect the true state of economic health. In April of 2011, Reuters ran a story entitled “Jobless ultra-Orthodox weigh on
N O T S O A C C U R AT E : I s r a e l ’s o f f i c i a l u n e m p l o y m e n t r a t e i s s i m p l y a m i r a g e o f e c o n o m i c v i t a l i t y.
Graph courtesy of www.indexmundi.com
from an even more alarming 62 percent in 2009. Meir Gross, a Haredi Jew interviewed in the Reuters article, maintains that “Torah study demands utter and complete devotion. We’re not interested in making money or in material luxury. We are content with very little and our true joy, and highest duty, is learning.” In a nominal sense, then, Gross and other ultra-Orthodox Jews who choose to avoid seeking employment are not included in the optimistic unemployment rate reported by the government. As is frequently the case, perhaps a more precise assessment of economic health can be obtained by analyzing a different parameter — the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR). As it is usually defined, the LFPR measures the percentage of the working-age population (commonly age 16 to retirement) who participate in the labor force (anyone who is either employed or actively seeking employment). In simpler terms, the LFPR provides a sense of how many people of working-age are actually employed or seeking employment. Essentially, since Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jews represent 8 to 10 percent of Israel’s population and approximately half of them do not work, an additional 4 to 5 percent (a conservative estimate) can be tacked on to the official unemployment rate (5.6
Page 9 Spring 2012
[Israeli Politics] percent), nearly doubling it and yielding a number much closer to 10 percent. Even though a double digit unemployment rate should set off all sorts of economic alarm bells, the real threat to Israel’s economy is one that may not even manifest itself immediately — since the ultra-Orthodox community does not use birth control, Haredim will make up 17 percent of the work force in 20 years (Reuters). If the Labor Force Participation Rate of this community is not significantly increased, Israel’s economy will inevitably experience perilous levels of strain. In an interview with Reuters, Omer Moav, professor of economics at the University of London and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, does not mince his words: “[The Haredim] are a real danger to Israel. If we go bankrupt it’s the end of the story for us. Our strong army rests on a strong economy.” Despite the uptick in employment rates among ultra-Orthodox men and especially among ultra-Orthodox women (who are not required to devote their lives to Torah study, as men are), a recent press release by the Bank of Israel notes that the current rate is still “significantly lower than the target rate for this population (63 percent) set by the government for 2020.” Given the potential hazard to the economy, is such harsh criticism of the ultra-Orthodox entirely justifiable? Rab-
efits in lieu of an earned paycheck. Professor and economist at Tel-Aviv University Dan Ben-David (interviewed in the Reuters article), when asked to comment on the amount of taxpayer money used to fund subsidies and child allowances for the Haredim, alleged that “the true amount is concealed, veiled in misleading budget definitions. We are shocked each time we get an inkling of its magnitude, but it has to be huge if it allows one of the highest unemployment rates in the Western world.” Admittedly, a portion of the government expenditures allocated to the ultraOrthodox is spent on programs that aim to encourage entry into the labor market. Ben-David adds that “success for such projects would have a great impact. If we were to increase employment to American rates, then we would add NIS 85 billion ($25 billion) to the economy.” However, many ultra-Orthodox Jews choose not to work for reasons other than market inaccessibility — Meir Gross explains that “my answer is not in facts and figures. We believe the world will end if it is left with no Torah study, even for a moment.” A limited increase in labor market participation rates will not be enough to avoid great harm to the Israeli economy; taxpayers will feel their wallets thin as more and more support will be required to maintain adequate government assis-
If we go bankrupt it’s the end of the story for us. Our strong army rests on a strong economy.” — Omer Moav Professor of Economics at the University of London and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
bi Jacob Rupp of the Jewish Awareness Movement (JAM) at UCLA believes that in Israel, the absence of stringent laws against slander (laws that are present in the United States) allows an unwarranted vilification of the Haredim by non-religious authorities, such as Omer Moav (quoted above). Rupp asserts that “the language that a lot of secular high-ranking government officials use [to describe the Haredim] would [undoubtedly] make them liable for lawsuits in the United States.” However, even if describing the Haredim as a “danger to Israel” is probably an objectionable exaggeration, the available economic data (operating beyond offensive philosophical discussion) and the financial vulnerability it predicts are very difficult to challenge. The extraordinarily low level of labor force participation among the ultra-Orthodox Jews also draws the ire of working Israelis, who feel that it is unjust for the Haredim to avail themselves of state ben-
tance to the ultra-Orthodox community. On his blog, prominent journalist, editor, and blogger Amir Mizroch discusses findings from a report published by the Research & Economics Administration of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, highlighting an astounding statistic: if the current trends continue, every working-age Israeli will be supporting a whole person (other than him or herself) within two decades. Needless to say, such a scenario involves a significant and decidedly frightening decline in quality of life. Also unconvinced by the sluggish progress, Omer Moav adds that “as long as the government won’t make a dramatic change, things will get worse. One cannot reach an agreed upon solution, it has to be forced upon the Haredim,” he said. In his bluntness, Moav abruptly tears open an enormous can of worms, pitting practical economic concerns against profoundly philosophical ones. Can Israel, the world’s only immutable bastion of unconditional
Weekly work hours, 1998 and 2009 ages 35-54
Graph courtesy of www.taubcenter.org.il
A D O W N WA R D T R E N D : T h e a v e r a g e q u a n t i t y o f w e e k l y h o u r s s p e n t w o r k i n g b y the minority of employed Haredi men declined sharply from 1998 to 2009.
support for the Jewish people, enact legislation that would force Jews to sacrifice millennia-old traditions in the name of a secular pursuit? The first and strongest argument against such legislation would contend that no amount of detriment to the economy could ever warrant compromising the “highest duty” of the Jewish people, as Meir Gross puts it. However, this begs the question: is the state of Israel primarily dedicated to the preservation of Judaism as a religion, or is its principal objective to protect its citizens? If the correct answer is that Israel should be equally concerned with both aims, this situation presents an unprecedented conflict of interests and existential crisis. On a purely practical level, however, the red flags raised by Israeli economists cannot remain unheeded — Israel is a tiny country surrounded by wildly
lessly debate the potency and imminence of these threats, but it is clear that national defense continues to be a top priority for Israel’s government. Therefore, while Israel has always been and should remain a safe haven to protect Jews’ right to be Jews, it is fundamentally misguided to passively allow substantial economic attrition and the accompanying deterioration in quality of life. In addition, allowing the economy to flounder on such a grand scale would compromise Israel’s security and thus directly increase the risk to the personal safety of Israel’s inhabitants — a flagrant breach of contract between the government and its people. Israel’s lawmakers must search for a balance between Omer Moav’s rash solution of “forcing” the Haredim into the labor force and an equally unacceptable course of inaction. As the highly com-
...as long as the government won’t make a dramatic change, things will get worse.” — Omer Moav Professor of Economics at the University of London and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
belligerent neighbors. Recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad poetically reminded the world that to him, “Israel is nothing more than a mosquito which cannot see the broad horizon of the Iranian nation.” Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, Iran’s military chief of staff, delicately added that “the Iranian nation is standing for its cause and that is the full annihilation of Israel.” The world’s intellectuals can end-
bustible nature of the situation suggests, the route to an appropriate reconciliation is not easily accessible by any means. Nevertheless, the first step is to understand that no matter how big or small the chance that a hampered economy could adversely affect Israel’s security or worsen the lives of its people, it is a risk Israel simply cannot afford to take. Alan Naroditsky is a third-year Economics and English double major at UCLA. His full name is Alan Jonathan “Long-Sentences Em Dash” Naroditsky, but his friends just call him “Em Dash.”
Page 10 Spring 2012
‘Outfitters’ of outrage: Urban Outfitters sells ‘Holocaust t-shirt’ and offends Diane Bani-Esraili
Content Editor and Senior Writer Popular retailer Urban Outfitters is known for catering to the so-called ‘hipster’ culture, and it does so by incorporating influences from past decades into their vintage, bohemian, and retro clothing lines. According to the company’s website, Urban Outfitters’ “established ability to…connect with [customers] on an emotional level is the reason for [its] success.” One particular item from the spring 2012 men’s collection did a strikingly good job of evoking the past and, in doing so, indeed managed to connect with customers (and non-customers) on an emotional level — perhaps too successfully. The item of interest in this case is the 100-dollar ‘Kellog Tee,’ manufactured by the Dutch label Wood Wood. The ‘Kellog Tee’ is a yellow men’s t-shirt, which features a six-pointed star patch sewn on the left breast pocket. Needless to say, many have taken offense to this detailing, arguing that its apparent imitation of the yellow, “Jude”-branded Star of David the Nazis forced the Jews to wear leading up to and during the Holocaust, is grossly insensitive and distasteful. To add insult to injury, the sale of the t-shirt came on the heels of Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 18th at sundown through April 19th of this year). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called out the retailer for selling a shirt that bears a symbol so strikingly similar to the one the Nazis used to identify, ostracize, and dehumanize the Jews in their execution of the infamous Final Solution. In an interview for FoxNews. com, Barry Morrison, the Philadelphia regional director of the ADL (Urban Outfitters, Inc. is based in Philadelphia), commented: “We are very troubled by
it. The juxtaposition of the six-pointed star on a yellow shirt brings about associations with the yellow Star of David that the Jews were forced to wear. A symbol marking Jews as subhuman — setting them apart and ultimately paving the way for their annihilation.” In a letter to the chairman of Urban Outfitters, Inc., Morrison wrote: “We find this use of symbolism to be extremely distasteful and offensive, and we are outraged that your company would make this product available to your customers.” In the immediate aftermath of Morrison’s letter, Urban Outfitters failed to produce an apology. The ‘Social’ tab on the item’s page on UrbanOutfitters.com, however, was flooded with angry comments from Jews and non-Jews alike. Comments included: “mindblowingly [sic] offensive” and “I am never stepping foot in one of these stores again.” These comments indicate a collective conscience, that people are ready and willing to vocally protest offense, insult, or injury perpetrated against any singled-out subgroup of society. The co-founder of the label Wood Wood, Brian SS (yes, really) Jensen issued
In the same statement Jensen goes on to explain, “the graphic came from working with patchwork and geometric patterns for [Wood Wood’s] spring/summer collection ‘State of Mind.’” Moreover, he blames Urban Outfitters for advertising the ‘Kellog Tee’ using what in his mind “must [have been] a photograph of an early sample, which is of course an error.” Jensen closes his statement with an apology: “I am sorry if anyone was offended seeing the shirt, it was of course never our intention to hurt any feelings with this.” The ADL’s national director, Abraham Foxman, has publically lauded Wood Wood for taking corrective actions, for recognizing “early on the shirt’s potentially offensive imagery” and “chang[ing] the design so the six-pointed star-shaped logo would no longer appear.” While Urban Outfitters’ website has been corrected to show the image of the supposed final product, Wood Wood’s website, despite Jensen’s apology, continues to boast the offensive logo as the primary image on the clothing collections page. Some would argue that the sale of the ‘Kellog Tee’ is a non-issue and that the ADL and those in the Jewish community
There is nothing illegal in the United States about selling offensive, idiotic, racist, or sophomoric shirts. In fact, one of the hallmarks of our democracy is the belief that it is more valuable to allow speech that may be universally condemned as offensive than to expurgate the speech.” — Keith Fink Attorney at Fink & Steinberg and Professor at UCLA
the following statement: “…The graphic is not the Star of David, and I can assure you that this is no way a reference to judaism, nazism, or the holocaust.” It is worth pointing out that none of these terms were capitalized in Jensen’s official statement.
Photos courtesy of www.UrbanOutfitters.com
who are angered by it are being hypersensitive. Those who make this argument should be advised that the ‘Holocaust TShirt’ is not Urban Outfitters’ first offense against the Jewish community. Case in point: a few years ago, Urban Outfitters sold women’s and men’s t-shirts that featured the words “Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl/Boy,” surrounded by dollar signs and Jewish stars. Those who make accusations of ‘hypersensitivity’ should also be informed that Urban Outfitters has a long history of putting out products that are racially and culturally insensitive and defamatory to more groups than one. They have offended not only Jews, but also, as Morrison points out, “African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Irish-Americans and Catholics.” These
Photo courtesy of www.googleimages.com
groups have, too, rightfully protested. The Native American Navajo Nation took legal action against Urban Outfitters earlier this year for their sale of Navajo underwear and flasks, which the tribe found “derogatory and scandalous.” They condemned these products for reinforcing negative stereotypes, like that of Native Americans being untamable alcoholics. This past February, in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, Urban Outfitters put out a t-shirt with the slogan “Irish I was Drunk.” Irish-American spokesman and president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Seamus Boyle, decried the sale of this shirt for showing “arrogance and disrespect to a whole nation.” “They have continuously crossed the line into incivility,” Morrison states. “We [the ADL] have asked them in the past to meet with us so we can discuss these issues, but we have never received a reply. There is a way to be successful without offending or belittling people.” It is abundantly clear that the ADL invites dialogue with Urban Outfitters, but heretofore Urban Outfitters has expressed no interest in engaging in such dialogue, let alone issuing a formal apology. Considering the number of repeated offenses, the variety of groups against whom they have been committed, and Urban Outfitters’ lack of desire to make amends, a sensitive reaction to the retail of a product like the ‘Holocaust T-Shirt’ is not only warranted, but also necessary.
Page 11 Spring 2012
[Opinion] The Bureau of Jewish Education’s Monise Neumann has made it her life’s work to educate students and preserve the memory of the Holocaust. Neumann remarks, “I have visited the death camps of Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majadanek, Treblinka, and Belzec countless times in my role as Director of the BJE’s March of the Living program, accompanied by hundred of teenagers and a handful of Holocaust Survivors who bear witness to the atrocities committed at these places of horror.” Neumann continues, “It is our collective responsibility to remember, to educate, and to act. Selling a t-shirt with such negative connotations goes against the lessons we must learn from this very dark period in our history and is beyond disrespectful to both victims and survivors and indeed, to all humanity. Urban Outfitters should lead by example and this is not an example to be proud of.” As deplorable as it is, retailers sell items that are insensitive and offensive and people purchase and wear them. This is the unfortunate reality and its impact is not limited to the vendor and purchaser. What if a student shows up to class wearing a t-shirt with objectionable symbol or offensive message? What if an employee
shows up to work wearing such an item? protest the Vietnam war and that the “students don’t shed their constitutional rights Keith Fink is an attorney at Fink & at the schoolhouse gates.” Steinberg and a professor at UCLA, where Even applying Tinker, Fink believes he teaches several free speech courses that “it [is] beyond peradventure to state through the Communication Studies de- that an obvious, visible symbol exprespartment. In his classes on free speech on sive of such atrocities and intolerance campus and free speech in the workplace, “disrupt[s] the learning environment.” A he poses these very questions. professor would not be “violat[ing] the If a student were to show up to class free speech rights public [school] students wearing the ‘Holocaust T-Shirt,’ “I would enjoy” in asking the student to change the expect a sensitive teacher to instruct the shirt or leave class in the name of preserv-
[Urban Outfitters] continuously crosse[s] the line into incivility. We [the ADL] have asked...to meet...so we can discuss these issues, but we have never received a reply. There is a way to be successful without offending or belittling people.” — Barry Morrison Philadelphia regional director of the ADL
student to cover up the shirt, remove the shirt, or leave class. This response is the appropriate response and the legal response,” says Fink. The seminal case in this area, according to Fink is Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District of 1969. Fink explains that the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case affirmed the students’ right to wear black armbands to
ing a safe, non-threatening learning environment. With respect to the analogous workplace scenario, Fink explains: “Workers for private businesses do not get to raise First Amendment challenges to employer actions. A dress policy should prohibit clothing that is offensive to customers and employees as long as it does not contravene some protected category (e.g.,
an employer could not ban an employee from wearing a cross simply because the workforce is Pagan). Failure to prohibit the wearing of offensive clothing [like the ‘Holocaust T-Shirt’] could lead to a hostile work environment claim.” Fink comments, “there is nothing illegal in the United States about selling offensive, idiotic, racist, or sophomoric shirts. In fact, one of the hallmarks of our democracy is the belief that it is more valuable to allow speech that may be universally condemned as offensive than to expurgate the speech.” The case of the ‘Holocaust TShirt’ will ultimately be decided in the court of public opinion. Will Urban Outfitters’ sales take a hit? Will you continue to shop at Urban Outfitters? The sale of the ‘Holocaust T-Shirt’ began on the heels of Yom Ha’Shoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Whether this timing was calculated or pure coincidence, whether the t-shirt was meant to insult or not, we, as a community, should learn from this incident. We should learn to be ever-mindful and ever-vigilant in the defense of the dignity of all constituents of our community. Diane Bani-Esraili is a third-year History major and Spanish minor at UCLA. Diane is a double-edged can of worms, and hates when two idiomatic expressions are smashed together.
The Heart2Heart project:
offering a new type of Shabbat experience
Contributing Writer We brought something new this year to the Jewish community at UCLA. It’s called Heart2Heart. The initiative, championed across the nation by The Heart2Heart Project based in New York City, seeks to tackle an unaddressed need in Jewish communities on college campuses. The idea is breathtakingly simple: between three and five Jewishlyinvolved, regular Shabbat attendees host ten less-involved Jewish students at an apartment or a dorm for a Friday night Shabbat dinner. I first heard of Heart2Heart while studying on a gap year program at Yeshivat Eretz Hatzvi in Jerusalem, where Hart Levine, the founder and president of the organization, came to present his idea during a lecture last April. He spoke to the yeshiva about the incredible potential of his new organization and how successful it had become during his time at the University of Pennsylvania. Although it sounded like a cool idea, I didn’t recognize the need for such an initiative until I came to UCLA in the fall. There are basically two paradigms for Shabbat dinners on this campus (and most campuses across the nation). The first is the Hillel model which seeks to bring as many
Jews from as many different religious backgrounds as possible to their massive (often 150+) student-led Shabbat dinners. The second is the model embraced by the Jewish Awareness Movement (JAM) and Chabad which provide purposefully smaller (usually 30 people or less) and more intimate dinners led by Orthodox rabbis who dedicate their efforts and programming to the campus community. Both of these models have their limitations: Hillel Shabbat, because of its relaxed, student-led, pluralistic atmosphere, can be a great experience for students who are new to Shabbat and to Judaism. Its large size, however, can also be intimidating to newcomers. At Hillel, it is often difficult to provide the intimate, meaningful, Shabbat experience we know and love precisely due to its large setting. Shabbat meals at JAM or Chabad have the potential to provide a more intimate and meaningful experience, but their adult-led kiruv-driven format does not appeal to everyone. This is where Heart2Heart comes in. Founded at UCLA this year by Edwin Eshagzadeh (2014), David Joseph (2015), and myself, H2H strives to take the best features of these existing models to engage Jewish students at UCLA. Our primary objective is to create a setting in which “Heart2Heart” con-
versations — about Shabbat, about Judaism, about life — can occur. We try to create a no-pressure, no-agenda atmosphere in which the only message we seek to communicate to our attendees is that of the significance and importance of Shabbat in our own, personal lives. We cap our Shabbat dinners at 15 students (of whom no more than five are Shabbat regulars) to make sure that all students can get to know each other and get comfortable with each other. After introductions and icebreakers, we go through the typical Shabbat practices and make sure to take the time to explain why each part of the Shabbat ritual is particularly relevant or meaningful to us. The two dinners we have hosted so far have been full of ‘Heart2Hearts’ and have organically lasted over three hours each. These dinners have been tremendously spiritually uplifting and impactful for me, and I know that they have been meaningful to our attendees. In no way do Edwin, David or I mean to degrade incredible work that Hillel, JAM, and Chabad do, nor do we seek to compete with the services they offer to the community. Heart2Heart simply provides a new, intimate, student-run religious forum to engage Jewish students on this campus outside the current establishment. Hillel and JAM have
not only recognized this, but also have been extremely generous and helpful with respect to our endeavor. Hillel, through the Campus Engagement Internship funds, has been instrumental in our efforts by providing both institutional and financial support for the project. JAM, Rabbi and Mrs. Sales particularly, has also helped considerably by preparing homemade kosher food, including their world-famous challah for our dinners. Thus far, the Heart2Heart Project has been very successful one at UCLA. Not only are Edwin, David, and I committed to continuing this initiative throughout our time at UCLA, but even Hillel has taken notice. Hillel will be hosting “Dinner for Twelve Strangers Shabbat,” which will be led by various student leaders this weekend. We encourage all those interested to attend. Additionally, if you’d like to be a part of Heart2Heart dinners next year, either as a leader or an attendee, please contact Edwin, David or myself. Finally, I’d like to thank Hart Levine and the rest of the Heart2Heart Project for their pivotal moral, financial, advisory assistance in getting us up and going at UCLA. Can’t wait for next year! Avinoam Baral is a first year Biology Major at UCLA . In his spare time, he enjoys advocating for Jews both on and off campus.
Page 12 Spring 2012
The Board of Directors and Staff of Hillel at UCLA congratulate the Members of the Student Board of Hillel at UCLA for their great achievements in leadership, social action, support of Israel and much more in 2011-2012.
The Ha’Am staff would like to deeply thank our sponsors for their support in our publishing endeavors. Without such partnerships, our work would not be possible. We are proud to be a part of the renaissance of Jewish journalism and advocacy on this campus, and we look forward to serving, uniting, and educating this community through our continual online and print publications. If you would like advertise in Ha’Am, please send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gratefully, Jacob, Tessa, Alan, Diane, & Moshe
Mazel Tov to David Bocarsly
Center for Jewish Studies
on his election as President of the UCLA Undergraduate Student Association! You make Hillel proud.
Hillel at UCLA, 574 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024, (310) 208-3081 www.uclahillel.org
Congratulates our Graduates for 2012! Jewish Studies Major Ariel Daniel Amar Oded Ben Ari Joseph Jinkook Kim Rebecca Sadik
Jewish Studies and Hebrew Minor Ruth Amer Tamar Esther Cohen Nathan Carroll Coleman Molly Grace Cornfield Laurie-Ann Cota Arash Azizelon Ghadooshahy Lee Hasson Lindsay Colin Pollock Michael Shamtoub Rachel Samantha Silverman Desiree Rouhi Soleymani Benjamin Michael Steiner Lisa Cara Weisshar
May you go from strength to strength! Professor Todd Presner, Director Vivian Holenbeck, Assistant Director Dr. Mary Enid Pinkerson, Community Affairs Coordinator David Wu, Digital Projects & Program Coordinator Briana Desmond, Financial & Administrative Coordinator
This is Ha'Am's Spring 2012 edition, published online.