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Guilford College Hillel in North Carolina changes its name under legal threat in order to host civil rights veterans

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The Hillel at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, a Quaker school, has changed its name in order to host a touring group of civil rights veterans. It was under a legal threat.

Civil rights veterans banned in the south! Shades of the 60s. You’d think that the threat came from some old white desegregationists.

Nope– Guilford College Hillel was threatened by Hillel International, which is based in Washington, D.C.

And why? Because the vets speak out for Palestinian human rights, thereby crossing Hillel’s red lines. Bull Connor would be proud!

The veterans spoke on campus Thursday night, I am informed, but not at the Hillel.

The new group is called Chavurah, and Guilford is just the latest. We have closely tracked the dissolution of Hillel’s on campuses around the country as the Jewish student groups seek to host the delegation of civil rights veterans and the parent organization Hillel International tells them they are not allowed to do so.

This press release is from the Open Hillel movement:

BREAKING: Legal threats from Hillel International over Passover force Guilford Hillel to change name to Guilford Chavurah
Once again, Hillel International has exerted legal pressure against a Hillel at a small liberal arts college. First, it was Swarthmore. Now, it is Guilford. Over Passover, Hillel International lawyers contacted Guilford and expressed that any violation of the Standards of Partnership would be grounds for legal action. In order to create a community where all Jewish students feel welcome, the Guilford Jewish community was forced to cut its ties with Hillel International by changing its name to Guilford Chavurah.
This is yet another instance where Hillel International’s tactics of legal threats and intimidation have resulted in a Jewish campus community deciding to put Jewish values before the increasingly exclusionary Hillel name. Hillel needs to seriously reevaluate where its priorities lay if it wants to continue to serve as the foundation for Jewish life on campus. This last semester, they alienated hundreds of students at schools small and large across the country because of their insistence on putting a rigid version of Zionism before a pluralistic conception of Judaism.
Open Hillel applauds the leaders of Guilford Chavurah for choosing to value the needs of its students. It is a sad time in Jewish American history when college students are sued for trying to create politically pluralistic communities. At the same time, we are encouraged by the vision and dedication of Guilford Chavurah, and look forward to its future as a vibrant center of Jewish life.
Now here is the scorecard so far on the civil rights veterans appearances. A hugely successful tour, exploding the red lines for appropriate discussion inside the Jewish community.
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6 Responses

  1. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    April 18, 2015, 5:42 pm

    RE: “The Hillel at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, a Quaker school, has changed its name in order to host a touring group of civil rights veterans. Guilford College Hillel was threatened by Hillel International, which is based in Washington, D.C. And why? Because the vets speak out for Palestinian human rights, thereby crossing Hillel’s red lines. Bull Connor would be proud!” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I wonder what Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel would think.

    ■ THE “LONG AND SHORT” OF TODAY’S HILLEL

    ● THIS IS TREIF AT HILLEL:

    ● THIS IS KOSHER AT HILLEL:

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      April 19, 2015, 12:16 am

      I also wonder what the founding fathers would think, and more importantly Abraham Lincoln, as he presided over the first civil war. This fealty to a foreign government, with all the harm it does to its non-Jewish citizens, its 70 year occupation and theft; and the corrosive and corrupting nature of the so-called “special friendship” must have them doing the electric boogaloo in their graves.

      On a side note, the apple thankfully fell far from the tree (Angelina).

  2. JWalters
    JWalters
    April 18, 2015, 6:17 pm

    My thanks to the people at Guilford College for this. Campuses are at the forefront of examining facts and finding truth. A massive, well-financed effort to hide facts and suppress discussion should raise huge warnings. Who is actually behind this, and what are their real motives? The money trail may run deeper than appearances.
    https://consortiumnews.com/2015/04/13/neocon-chaos-promotion-in-the-mideast/#comment-193096

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    April 18, 2015, 6:36 pm

    If Hillel International OWNS a building heretofore used for Hillel meetings at Guilford, then I hope the new group will find a new meeting place and ALL the members of the (former) Hillel will clear out and commence to meet in the new place, leaving a building owned (but no longer used) by Hillel International. There may remain a question of who will pay for the new facility.

    There may also be a question of whether the College should continue to give its blessing to the presence of an anti-HR and anti-academic-freedom establishment on its campus (if that is where it is). And this should be a question at every college that has a Hillel (Hillel International) establishment.

  4. Mooser
    Mooser
    April 19, 2015, 3:42 pm

    “If Hillel International OWNS a building heretofore used for Hillel meetings at Guilford…,”

    If I remember correctly, I think Hostage pointed out that each Hillel is a self-supporting entity, and finds it’s own facilities and funds. I don’t see anything in the article which contradicts this.

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