Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hillel organization to encourage intermarriage?

Hillel - whose purpose has been to strengthen and encourage Jewish commitment on the college campus - announces that they have a new open door policy which will include non-Jews.

Aish HaTorah



  1. I have a lifelong friend who happens to be a Hillel director at a major university. I asked him what he does when he finds that a student is not Jewish.

    His answer was that it is impossible for Hillel to function in accordance with Halacha because the policy of all Universities is that each student is the religion they say they are, and if Hillel wants to function on campus, they have to let anyone who claims to be Jewish attend functions.

    He also goes on a lot of Birthright trips as a guide and told me that 70% of the students who go aren't Jewish.

    If Hillel has a new policy to officially permit gentiles to attend, it really doesn't change anything.

  2. The Hillel campus organization and its parent organization the Bnai Brith were never religious or Halachik organizations in any way, shape, size or form and never claimed to be. They were the old cultural organizations of America's Reform Jews who could not assimilate en masse into American society because until the Civil Rights movement starting in the 1950s and into the 1960s that advocated for Blacks, the fate of US Jews was that they were excluded from almost all of America's finest private colleges, universities, social and sporting clubs, businesses, political parties, in short the WASP and "red neck" establsihement in America kept Jews out from joining them, even the most Reformed of Jews had huge trouble dropping their Jewish identity.

    So those mostly Reform and secular Jews created their own versions of the organizations, clubs and societies that they were excluded from and the main ones were the Bnai Brith and the Hillels as well as the tentacles of the Federations and local cultural and communal JCCs that criss-crossed America wherever Reform Jews based themselves.

    But after World War II things started to change. Blacks began to get civil and political rights. In WWII, Jews had served with distinction in the US armed forces (over half a million Jews served in uniform) and then came the 1950s and 1960s when African-Americans demonstrated and rioted for their political and civil rights and got them, but when the private universities and clubs finally opened their doors it was the Reform and secular Jews who jumped to the head of the line and were admitted ahead of the Blacks who were struggling to catch up with their racial lag in American society that they had suffered since the end of the Civil War in the 1860s a hundred years earlier.

    And thus began the quick decline and slide into mass assimilation and intermarraige of Reform and secular Jewry with the Conservatives not far behind as they turned to the left to join Reform rather than stick with tradition and see if they could patch things up with Orthodoxy (some did, in the Union for Traditional Judaism founded by Rabbi Halivni Weiss, who recently moved to Israel and is a Talmud professor at Bar Ilan.)

    So it is no surprsie at all that the Hillel, like the Bnai Brith, and many of the Federations are openly declaring their Judaic bankruptcy, which has been known and evident for the last fifty years to those who have been involved in community work, and indeed they are suffering financial bankruptcy too as the old generation dies out and many of the new generation marries non-Jews and gives, if at all, to non-Jewish secular and political causes or just spends its wealth on personal pleasures and material comforts.

    This is just another open nail in the coffin in the long drawn out death of Reform, Conservative Judaism and secular Jews in America as they follow their "urge to merge" with secular and even Christian gentile American society. No real news here.


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