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Tufts Hillel welcomes students across the campus to engage in productive dialogue and participate in meaningful programming related to Israel.

Tufts Hillel supports Israel as a Jewish State inclusive of diverse population sand advocates for human rights for all its peoples, and a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is agreeable to the involved parties.

Hillel helps students develop personal connections by offering programs that explore Israel’s deep religious and spiritual significance—its history, languages, cultures, and connection to Jewish tradition. A convener of the Tufts community, Hillel provides a safe space where all can feel comfortable in exchanging different views—building bridges and promoting mutual respect.

Policy

Context

The Jewish people are indigenous to the Land of Israel and have maintained a continuous presence there for over 2000 years.

The State of Israel has complex challenges of incorporating a broad range of perspectives on Jewish nationhood, faith, values, identity, and culture. Tufts Hillel is committed to providing programs that support Israel as the Jewish homeland and as a nation in the family of nations.

Beliefs

We believe that Tufts Hillel should welcome everyone in the University community and host Israel-related programming for all those who wish to participate. We respect differences of opinion about Israel’s traditions, policies, and perceived strengths and weaknesses.

Because Israel is a Jewish state with diverse populations and a wide range of points of view, it is important that Tufts Hillel provides students with opportunities to become comfortable engaging in dialogue with an open mind to learn about these perspectives. We believe that Tufts Hillel should be a place where students are encouraged to share their ideas, whether supportive and/or critical of Israel. Discussion of differing ideas is at the core of our Jewish tradition, e.g., Torah scholars worked in hevrutot, pairs that disagreed and pushed each other to further their understanding and learning. Though these conversations may be difficult, Tufts Hillel should be a resource for students to learn from each other and a setting that supports all participants in respecting the humanity of others and intellectual integrity.

Tufts Hillel supports a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and believes that the achievement of this outcome is dependent upon the Israeli and Palestinian peoples both reaching a resolution that is ultimately agreeable to the involved parties. On campus, we are committed to providing students with opportunities and experiences to learn about the history of the conflict and discuss current events. We are also committed to fostering student creativity and finding ways to leverage the broader resources of the Tufts Community to build bridges, promote mutual respect, and engage in meaningful dialogue around this topic.

We also believe that Tufts Hillel should provide students with opportunities to learn how to combat antisemitism and anti-Zionism; to understand their similarities and differences; and to understand the dangers of conflating the two. Our goal is to equip our students with knowledge, leadership skills, and communication skills that are foundational for constructive and respectful conversations as well as engagement in their communities.

We know that our community members have a range of passions, thoughts, interests, emotions, and opinions related to the State of Israel. Tufts Hillel is committed to every student feeling welcome, being treated with respect by all who participate, and receiving the resources and support needed to participate in Israel related programming.

Programming

Tufts Hillel is committed to providing opportunities for students to develop a well-informed, personal, and meaningful connection with Israel by providing a wide range of programs that highlight Israel’s deep religious and spiritual significance and topics related to Jewish tradition, history, diverse populations, perspectives, languages, cultures, and politics.

Tufts Hillel promotes broad-based educational programs related to Israel, including lectures, workshops and peer-led discussions. Tufts Hillel actively seeks to partner with organizations, groups, and speakers from a wide range of political and ideological perspectives who:

  • have a goal of building strong and meaningful connections to the State of Israel in a range of contexts, e.g., political, economic, religious, and/or cultural
  • promote inclusiveness, tolerance, and diverse perspectives
  • promote an environment of mutual respect, dialogue, and civility
  • support Israel’s existence as a democratic and Jewish state
  • recognize Israel’s right to secure and protect its borders
  • support human rights for all individuals living within Israel and Palestinian territories
  • present viewpoints that are supported by facts

Tufts Hillel strives to include balance in its Israel programming, especially when programs have political aspects in addition to their educational purposes. Tufts Hillel actively seeks to promote programs that provide opportunities to share and explore multiple viewpoints through respectful discourse.

To support deeper understanding of Israel, Tufts Hillel also develops opportunities and programs for students to travel to Israel for study, work, and service (tikun olam) opportunities.

Tufts Hillel expects all program speakers and participants (whether they are members of the Tufts Community or invited guests) to abide by and demonstrate our community values of support for human rights, tzelem Elohim (sanctity of human life), chesed (empathy and love), and shalom (peace). These guidelines do not prevent any participant from voicing different viewpoints, but we expect all participants to contribute with civility and respect.

Tufts Hillel does not necessarily endorse the views and policies of the individuals or organizations that participate in our programs.