Apr 15, 2010

Fwd: Update about UC Berkeley Divestment Bill

(Shared with permission)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rabbi Marvin Goodman <MarvinG@sfjcf.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 15:22:51 -0700
Subject: Update about UC Berkeley Divestment Bill
To: Rabbi Marvin Goodman <MarvinG@sfjcf.org>



April 15, 2010

Dear Community Leader

As the attached article above indicates, the Israel Divestment
issue is not resolved at UC Berkeley - even after an all-night marathon
last night that ended around 7:30 a.m. this morning. The ASUC
Student Senate voted to uphold the ASUC President's veto of the
divest-from-Israel bill. Then, through a parliamentary maneuver there
was a motion to reconsider, which was tabled - and therefore there may
be yet another vote next week. The successful efforts to convince 3
Senators to change their initial votes in favor of divestment were the
result of tireless - truly round-the-clock - work by a number of people.
I specifically want to mention the tremendous work of the following:

Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman, Executive Director of Hillel,
inspired, encouraged, led and fully supported student activists in
opposition to the divestment bill. Hillel's unequivocal opposition
made a major difference.

Julie Bernstein, JCRC's Director of Campus and Community Programs
for our Middle East Project, provided invaluable guidance and boundless
support to Hillel and student activists with resources, letters in
opposition to and strategizing.

Israeli Consul General Akiva Tor was unstoppable and tremendously
effective in his efforts to reach out to the ASUC Senate and major
luminaries who sent letters supporting upholding the veto.

The pro-Israel student activists were focused, effective and came
out in good numbers to defend Israel.

These individuals are really the heroes of the day. I strongly
encourage people to email Adam at adamnk@berkeleyhillel.org and Julie at
jbernstein@jcrc.org to thank them for their leadership on this issue and
to express your appreciation to Consul General Tor who serves the
government of Israel with tremendous distinction. We are very fortunate
to have this leadership in our community.

In addition, on a day's notice more than 50 rabbis sent a strong
letter urging the Senators to uphold the veto. Also, Nobel laureate
Elie Wiesel, Judea Pearl and 2010 CAL Alumnus of the Year Richard
Goldman sent strong letters urging the Senators to uphold the veto.
We are tremendously grateful to them for lending their voices of moral
leadership to this important issue. And, we are grateful for the
support of dozens of Jewish organizations that signed onto our letter
and in some cases added their own strong letter, to the thousands who
sent emails in response to JCRC and other action alerts - evidently
Senators received 25,000 emails(!) - and to all who came to UC Berkeley
last night to support the pro-Israel community.

There is much more work to be done, and this may not be over.
For now, those who pulled an all-nighter at UC Berkeley deserve some
rest as we will have to fight another day.

All the best,

Doug Kahn

p.s. Here is a statement issued by Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman.

Berkeley Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman On the
ASUC Vote Against Divestment

Berkeley Hillel expresses its gratitude to the senators who helped to
sustain President Will Smelko's veto of an anti-Israel divestment
measure. President Smelko and the senators demonstrated sensitivity,
wisdom, strength and courage. We will continue to lead the effort
against this proposal and to educate the campus about Israel as it
really exists and not as it is portrayed by its detractors.

Berkeley Hillel looks forward to continuing to work with ASUC and all
student groups to bring this campus together around Berkeley's values of
mutual respect, free inquiry and the pursuit of harmony on campus and
around the world. Berkeley has been, and will always be, a leader in
promoting peace around the world.

In addition to the student activists who led this campaign, we thank our
many partners on campus and in the community who contributed to this
outcome. We particularly want to thank writer and Nobel laureate Elie
Wiesel and Founder and Honorary Chair of the Richard and Rhoda Goldman
Fund and 2010 Cal Alumnus of the Year Richard N. Goldman, for speaking
out on our behalf.

Rabbi Doug Kahn

Executive Director, JCRC

121 Steuart Street, Suite 301

San Francisco, CA 94105

Rabbi Doug Kahn

Executive Director, JCRC

121 Steuart Street, Suite 301

San Francisco, CA 94105

JCRC: Pursuing a Just Society and Secure Jewish Future

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Rabbi Menachem Creditor
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