Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jewish Students On Campus--A Force To Reckon With?

Maybe not yet, but perhaps soon, now that it seems that Colleges and Universities are willing to go out of their way to attract Jewish students:
At Chicagoland Jewish High School, “What I’m seeing is, new names are popping up all the time,” says Bruce Scher, the academic dean and director of college counseling.

“Outside of the stereotypical or the standard colleges that already have strong Jewish populations, we’re seeing a lot of other schools recognize the value and recognize the contribution that these students are making to a college campus,” says Scher, who’s also co-chair of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s special interest group for Jewish students. “Even schools like Knox [College], you know, in central Illinois, they absolutely are connecting to Jewish students.”

College counselors and colleges alike – particularly small liberal arts colleges – are reporting explicit efforts to attract more Jewish applicants or build Jewish student life on campus, or both (since the two goals go hand in hand). For instance, Washington and Lee University, a decidedly Southern-influenced institution in Virginia, has identified “recruiting and supporting Jewish students at W&L” as a fundraising priority, and is constructing a $4 million Hillel House.

...Patti Mittleman is familiar with the trend, but questions the motivations behind it. When an article appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer last year describing Muhlenberg College, a Lutheran liberal arts institution in Pennsylvania, as “an unlikely magnet for Jewish students” (about a third of the student body is Jewish), Mittleman, Muhlenberg’s Jewish chaplain, was “inundated” by calls and e-mails — including, she says, “from some of the finest universities in this country.”
Read the whole story.

If this trend is true, then Jewish students on campus should be able--and willing--to do more to not only maintain a Jewish life on campus, but also should be able to defend their right to present the Israeli point-of-view in confronting the negative anti-Israel rhetoric and propaganda on campus.

[Hat tip: Instapundit]

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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