May 3, 2010

Fwd from Berkeley Hillel

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Adam Naftalin-Kelman <>
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 16:47:39 -0700
Subject: Thank You from Berkeley Hillel
To: fed <>, Menachem Creditor
<>, "Yonatan Cohen, Rabbi"
<>, "Appel, Nancy" <>, Rabbi Yoel
Kahn <>, ohds <>,

Dear East Bay Jewish Community,

As many of you have already heard, early Thursday morning, April 29th, the
Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) Senate upheld the
veto of bill SB118a. Berkeley Hillel, an organization committed to
fostering a climate where students at Cal can create a deep, meaningful and
committed relationship to Israel, is grateful for the sustained veto of bill
SB118a by Will Smelko president of the student senate.

In order to defeat this bill there were countless student activists at the
University of California at Berkeley that worked tirelessly and showed
tremendous leadership. At the forefront were the Jewish Student Union,
Israel Action Committee, Tikvah and so many other Jewish students. It was
their passion and commitment that led to this victory. We are fortunate to
know these are the future leaders of the Jewish community.

The support of the community was felt deeply by the students and for many,
this was the first time they realized how much this Jewish community cares
and values them. One student, who took a leadership role in fighting this
bill, wrote:

"The last six weeks have been exhausting and at times I've lost my focus as
a Jewish student leader, but at the end of the day I am forever thankful to
have interacted with so many in the Jewish community, outside of the
University, as a result of this campus crisis.

As I leave the Berkeley campus this May for San Francisco to begin my young
professional career, I am excited and humbled to become part of such a
caring, thoughtful and intelligent group of Bay Area Jewish professionals
and community members. I hope to cross paths with you all soon in capacities
independent of the ASUC."

As a new addition to the community, this whole event showed me firsthand the
strength of the East Bay Jewish community. The victory in defeating this
bill came from the ties of our community. It was the work of synagogues,
their Rabbis, the various Israel Action committees and individuals. Only
because of the relationships we have fashioned within the Jewish community
were we able to galvanize and work together.

Through the leadership of our Rabbis, Jewish communal professionals, and
volunteer leadership we were able to get stickers printed last week, to have
the multiple letters written to the senate, to call and email so many to ask
and come to the meeting and show their support for the students. The list
of people that helped in this victory goes on and on.

Too often I am at a loss for defining Klal Yisrael and 'community.' These
last 6 weeks have been a clear example of what it means. Klal Yisrael is
when all of us come together to support each other, for what happens in
another's community will simply spill into our own lives. As we have seen
with this divestment bill, what happens on campus will almost always spill
into the East Bay Jewish community.

On behalf of the students, I want to thank everyone for your support and
willingness to help us through this difficult time. May this be a moment of
inspiration for us to come together, and remember that although we belong to
different shuls, attend different Hebrew schools, go to different day
schools, celebrate at a Purim carnival or any other opportunity in the East
Bay Jewish community, when the need arises we will know what it means to
exemplify Klal Yisrael, to be a Jewish community.

Rabbi Adam Naftalin-Kelman

Executive Director - Berkeley Hillel


(510) 845-7793 ext.11

2736 Bancroft Way

Berkeley, CA 94704

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Rabbi Menachem Creditor

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