To: Vassar’s Jewish Union; From: Me, Class of ’92

To the members of the VSU,

As a Rabbi, former President of the Jewish Alumni Foundation and someone who discovered my Jewish identity while at Vassar, I am truly disappointed and disturbed by the VJU’s decision to become an “Open Hillel”.

I know that Vassar teaches you to embrace various viewpoints and embrace ideas that run counter to your own. But to openly welcome those who actively work to undermine the very existence of the Jewish State and promote horrific anti-Israel sentiment across the globe is irresponsible and destructive. While some will support your decision, I write to tell you that your actions are not at all supported by me.

Some will say that opening your doors to one and all is the “right” thing to do; some will say that openness will foster true community. But this could not be further from the truth. What you have done is open your doors to those who seek to hurt, undermine and/or destroy Israel while making your Hillel an unfriendly, unpleasant and unsafe place for those of us who consider ourselves committed Zionists. In doing so, you have not created an “Open Hillel”. You have slammed many doors.

Rabbi Andrew M Jacobs ’92

About the Author
Rabbi Andrew Jacobs is the spiritual leader of Ramat Shalom Synagogue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and holds both an MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a BA from Vassar College. He is a CLAL "Rabbis Without Borders" Fellow.
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