Once again, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement has targeted the Berkeley Campus. As you likely remember, just two years ago a bill was considered by the UC Student Senate, which would have recommended to the University of Berkeley that it divest itself of companies that conduct business with Israel. Dozens of Netivot Shalom members and the entire Bay Area Jewish community responded to an urgent call from the Berkeley Hillel community for support, which led to the bill being defeated.
PLEASE read the urgent letter below from Netivot Shalom member, Berkeley Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman - and answer his call.
Netivot Shalom has always demonstrated commitment to a unified Jewish community as well as a deep love for Israel. Now is the moment we are called to stand true to both.
Am Yisrael Chai!
from Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman
Executive Director, Berkeley Hillel
The Associated Students University of California Senate has taken up the issue of divesting from Israel once again. On Wednesday evening the Senate will vote on an anti-Israel bill calling on the UC Regents to divest from some companies doing business with Israel. The passing of this bill will tarnish the reputation of a leading world institution and unfairly singles out Israel. The students have shown amazing leadership and passion in their preparation for the Senate meeting. We have assured them they are not alone and they have asked us for our help.
The students are asking for your help in garnering support to defeat this bill. Currently there are two letters that people can sign which will be delivered to the Senators on Wednesday night. If you are alumni you can click here to sign the online letter and make your voice heard, as alumni of a leading world institution. For those that did not attend Cal but would like to voice your concern to the Senate, there is an online petition at change.org that you can sign by clicking here. Along with signing one or both of these letters we ask that you distribute these petitions and letters to as many people as possible.
Please open up your 'rolodex' and send the link to the letter and petition to all those that care deeply about Israel and the Cal community. It is critical to show the Senators the negative impact this will have on the campus as well as the greater community.
Although many of us share differing views on the Middle East, we can all agree that efforts like divestment bills, which serve to delegitimize Israel, do nothing to encourage a peaceful resolution for everyone living in the Middle East.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…