Connections: The e-newsletter of JFFS - May 25, 2016

 

Connections - the e-newsletter of Jewish Federatin & Family Services


The following is an update of developments surrounding the incident last week in which a pro-Israel event sponsored by the UC Irvine student organization, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), with support from Hillel, was targeted by anti-Israel protestors on the UCI campus.
First, we thank the community for the outpouring of support for our students -- those who attended the screening of “Beneath the Helmet,” and others involved with the pro-Israel community, as well as the Hillel staff who were at the screening last Wednesday evening. Our students and pro-Israel campus organizations are strong and will not be intimidated. This was demonstrated by a wonderful celebration of Israel held by SSI, with Hillel, on the campus main thoroughfare less than 24 hours after the film screening incident. We are proud to thank our partners -- Artists for Israel, StandWithUs, and Hasbara Fellowships -- and the hundreds of students who turned out to make this a joyous and successful event.
The university has launched two parallel investigations, one by the UCI Police Department and the other by the Department of Student Affairs. These investigations are meant to uncover any criminal activity and violations of campus codes and policies, and to determine whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate.   
UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman issued a strongly-worded statement the day after the incident, stating the university’s belief that the line of civility was crossed. The Chancellor affirmed that the university will protect free speech, and that threats, harassment, incitement and defamatory speech are not protected.
We thank the university administration and the UCI Police Department for the seriousness, speed and sensitivity with which they are treating this matter, and for seeing to the mental health and security needs of our students. It should be noted that UCI police officers and administrators from the Department of Student Affairs arrived on the scene quickly, and campus officials were in the room with students and staff continuously until the students concluded their event. These officials comforted frightened students and advised them of their right to continue with the event until its completion. Hillel and the Rose Project staff are working closely with the university administration and police to support their investigations and to ensure that Jewish and pro-Israel students are able to engage in programming in a safe environment. Staff is also in regular communication with the targeted students, and will continue to see to their needs.
Hillel Foundation of Orange County, which operates Hillel at UCI, along with the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services, condemn in the strongest terms the verbal and physical harassment and intimidation of Jewish students, and the assault on their First Amendment right to assemble by the UCI chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace and their supporters. We state clearly and unequivocally that we support the right of all students to exercise their First Amendment rights, but no student or student organization has the right to  infringe on the rights of others or to instill feelings of insecurity, anxiety or fear.  The attempt that night by an aggressive, screaming mob to force its way into a room of Jewish students, and the pursuit of a Jewish student that forced her to hide in the dark in terror, are unconscionable acts that have no place on a university campus or in American society. The perpetrators of this incident maintain the justness of their actions because they claim that the target of their protest was Israel and the Israel Defense Force (IDF). Make no mistake: with no Israeli officials or IDF officers in the room that night, their actions targeted Jewish and pro-Israel students for no other reason than their connection to Israel and their desire to learn more about the Jewish State.
Those who wish to express their support for the students who attended the event are welcome to post to this Facebook page.
We will continue to keep you apprised of further developments.

Celebrate Israel 2016

What an event! Over 1,500 people came together on Sunday to Celebrate Israel and enjoyed a day of Israeli food, art, culture, dance and community! We are thrilled to have partnered with the Merage JCC to bring this extraordinary event to our community. THANK YOU to all the organizations and volunteers, sponsors and supporters that helped make this event possible and for joining us in celebrating Israel's 68th birthday! View Photos


Tikkun 4 Troop - Donate and Volunteer

Late Night with Solomon Society
Matching Gifts

Full List of Upcoming JFFS Events

View All Jewish OC Community Events



Community Happenings:

Programs, Grants & Loans:

Support Groups & Counseling:


The mission of Jewish Federation & Family Services is to bring together the people, the partners, and the resources to care for people in need, to build a vibrant community, and to sustain and enhance Jewish life. We do this through an array of services, grants, programs, and opportunities for engagement, to people of all faiths, ethnicities and ages across the community, in Israel, and around the world. Together with our Community Partners, congregations, Jewish organizations, and friends like you, we help to ensure: lifesaving social services; care and connection for seniors; educational opportunities for youth; leadership on OC college campuses; a strong relationship with Israel; and so much more. Learn More
 
Donate Today

Subscribe | Contact | Community Calendar
http://jewishorangecounty.org/

Jewish Federation & Family Services, Samueli Jewish Campus, 1 Federation Way, Suites 210 & 220, Irvine, CA 92603

 

0Comments

Add Comment