According to the O C register “article”, “Hillel has another important role: combating the anti-Jewish/anti-Israel hate”.
It quotes Hillel Executive Director Jordan Fructman who has now evidently acknowledged the existence of anti-Semitism on campus although according to the article , “…he seems annoyed by the part of the job…” .
Until the disruption of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, Hillel and the Jewish Community “leadership” were loathe to admit the existence of anti-Semitism on campus, purportedly out of fear that Jewish students would not wish to attend U C Irvine.
In June 2007, the Hillel Foundation of Orange County suddenly decided to drop its sponsorship for the O C Task Force and its investigation, “in order to focus on building Jewish life on campus”. The Task Force Report on UC Irvine and Findings and Recommendations, released in February 2008, went largely ignored by Hillel and the Jewish Federation of Orange County.
Probolsky: Jewish life thrives at UC Irvine
Above the Post Office, across from the University and sandwiched between a Buddhist organization and a Navy recruiting office is Orange County Hillel Center, a refuge for the one thousand or so Jewish students attending UC Irvine.
The 1,400-square-foot office has a lounge with a couch, comfy chairs and a large flat-screen TV. They have plenty of snacks, a conference room, a balcony and a small computer lab. The center is run by Executive Director Jordan Fruchtman, a Brandeis University graduate who funded the lease and outfitted the center by securing the generous support from donors like the Merage Family and Paul Goldenberg – “The King of Big Screens.”
Hillel has a presence on most major U.S. college campuses. It is intended to be a home away from home for Jewish students. The organization hosts religious services and generally supports students’ educational and other pursuits. Fruchtman says one of his goals is to help “Get students out of their bubble of collegeness.”
Hillel at UCI, however, has another important role: combating the anti-Jewish/anti-Israel hate that comes from the campus’s Muslim Student Union. It is easy to tell that Fruchtman has passion for his job, especially the part where he gets to empower students to become leaders, supporting them as they volunteer and support the broader community. But he seems annoyed by the part of the job that requires him to deal with the Muslim Student Union’s vitriol.
“My job and passion is to build Jewish life, but every day I have to answer questions and go to meetings or deal with in some way the anti-Jewish hate that comes from the Muslim students,” explained Fruchtman, a redheaded Bay Area native, on a recent morning.
Hillel will hold its third annual iFest, a weeklong celebration of Israel and Jewish life on campus next week. For more information on iFest, visit uc-ifest.com
Adam Probolsky is CEO of a research company and lives in Turtle Rock. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org