Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Letter to the Editor Nov. 25, 2008

As leaders of the Jewish community on campus, we feel compelled to share our viewpoint of Jewish life at Georgetown in light of a recent opinion expressed in The Hoya (“Jewish and Jaded on the Hilltop,” Nov. 21, 2008, A3). Although we respect the opinions of others both inside and outside of the Georgetown Jewish community, it is important to realize those opinions do not speak for the community as a whole. Therefore, we felt it prudent to offer the following thoughts.

The Jewish community at Georgetown is multifaceted. The Office of Campus Ministry employs three Jewish chaplains (two full-time Jewish chaplains and a chaplain-in-residence) as well as two Jewish program coordinators. The Jewish chaplaincy is also affiliated with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, which is an international organization dedicated to providing opportunities for Jewish students at more than 500 colleges and universities to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity. At Georgetown, we have four student groups affiliated with the Jewish chaplaincy and Hillel: the Georgetown University Jewish Students Association, the Georgetown Israel Alliance, and two Jewish social groups. Anyone can be a member of JSA, and events are open to the public. The members of JSA consider it important to reach out to other communities by hosting such annual events as Pride Shabbat and Hallelujah Shabbat, as well as co-sponsoring an iftar during Ramadan.

Just as in the world around us, the interfaith relationships within the confines of our campus can always be improved. Having said that, it is our opinion that both the administration and the Office of Campus Ministry have been ahead of the curve in seeking to embrace not only the Jewish community, but also religious diversity as a whole on campus. Of course, much work remains, but it is important to recognize that just as much of that work is the responsibility of the student community as it is the administration or the Office of Campus Ministry.

Interfaith understanding is a two-way street, and all sides must show patience in the process. The Jewish community’s participation on campus is very much a work in progress. However, it is work that the university has demonstrated its dedication to. The fact that the administration is helping us work on this is a sign that it is supportive of us and our cause. Therefore, we invite those in and out of the Jewish community to speak with us if they think there are ways we can improve our relationships with groups on campus. We also invite you to take part in any of our events if you would like to learn more about the Jewish community.

Andrew Dunn (COL ’09), Jennifer Wolf (MSB ’09), David Hammerman (MSB ’11), Andrew Levine (COL ’11) and Matthew Zuckerman (MSB ’10)

embers of the Jewish Students Association Board

Nov. 23, 2008

To send a letter to the editor on a recent campus issue or Hoya story or a viewpoint on any topic, contact opinionthehoya.com. Letters should not exceed 300 words, and viewpoints should be between 600 to 800 words.

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