YU Students Attend Hillel Conference on Social Justice


“Tzedek, Tzedek, Tirdof – Justice, Justice, You Shall Pursue!” states the Torah (Deuteronomy 16:20).

YU President, Richard M. Joel, former president of Hillel International, renewed old ties and created a new relationship with Hillel President Avraham Infeld, by bringing eight students from the Wilf & Beren Campuses to a three-day forum on public policy in Boston, Mass., Feb. 22-24 sponsored by Hillel. The Charlotte B. and Jack J. Spitzer Hillel Forum on Public Policy brings together college students each year for the conference, which addresses issues of public policy and social action.

Students from Hillel centers throughout the world joined to discuss topics such as education, literacy, environment, health, poverty, immigrant rights, the Patriot Act, pro-Israel activism on campus, and the upcoming US presidential election.

They participated in skill building workshops, discussions led by experts on social justice issues, and learned how the Jewish community is responding to these issues, as well as how they can respond to future issues. Stern College junior, Rebecca Stone, who attended the conference said, ” I learned so much about political and social issues. I also enjoyed interacting with students from the entire Jewish spectrum over issues that are of concern to us all.”

Conference speakers included Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass); Dr. Aaron Miller, executive president of Seeds of Peace; Simpsons writer and producer Mike Reiss; Timberland CEO Jeff Swartz; Ann Lewish, chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Vote; and Rabbi Jeffrey Summit, executive director of Tufts Hillel.

While at the conference, students were presented with techniques on how to better approach a variety of social issues. Students who represented YU were Reuven Pepper, ’05, Rebecca Stone, SC ’05, Aliza Mainzer, SC ’07, Shaya Lerner, YC ’05, Grant Silverstein, YC’05, Zach Mainer, SSSB ’04, Yair Hindin, YC ‘04, and Judah Kay, YC ‘04.

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