From the Desk of Howard Tevlowitz

10 Jun
Howard-1304187

Howard Tevlowitz

Tablet, an online Jewish magazine, ran a powerful piece recently that precisely reflects our thinking at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee when it comes to responding to the growing anti-semitism and anti-Israel activities on many college campuses. Written by Liel Leibovitz, a senior writer for Tablet, it was headlined, “Jewish Students, It’s Time to Fight the Haters.” The author notes, that he has “spent the lion’s share of the past two decades on college campuses — first as a graduate student, then as a professor.”
Here is an edited excerpt from what he has concluded: “Too often, we respond to hate the way a hapless nerd might respond to the bully about to stuff him into a locker, with some sad mixture of pride in our intellectual superiority and desperate attempt to be liked no matter what. Know that charm and brains don’t matter much to bullies. The only way to stop bullies is to fight them.”

“First, stop apologizing,” he continued in a message to a Jewish student, “you have much to be proud of: proud of being Jewish, proud of Israel, and proud of understanding the nuanced yet indispensable connection between the two.”
Then he suggests the following: “Cultivate a community predicated on faith, joy, candor, and all the other things that make life rich and nurturing. Once you do that, you’ll discover that the old adage is true: Haters are indeed going to hate. Do not try to debate them or appease them or engage them in any sort of feel-good exercise. Instead, drag their bigotry into the light and make them pay for it.”
It is a powerful piece worth reading and underscores dramatically the growing anti-Semitic problems Jewish students face on many college campuses. See the entire article posted on our blog or link to Tablet Magazine: http://tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/191289/fight-the-haters-on-campus.
Fortunately, these problems are not dominant at all three institutions that we work with at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee – Ringling College of Art, New College of Florida and University of South Florida on both the Sarasota and Tampa campuses. However, there has been troubling anti-Semitic and anti-Israel trends generated by some students and their on-and off-campus supporters and this has been a problem.
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee has led the effort to address these problems and University administrators have become much more aware of the situation; they now monitor it more closely and we are actively urging them to institute more proactive measures.
We at The JFSM will continue to remain vigilant, however. Through our FAST project (Fight Anti-Semitism Today), we offer Jewish college students, the opportunity to learn more and how to respond to the issues they might confront on their respective campuses. (For more details on FAST contact Jessi Sheslow at The JFSM at jsheslow@jfedsrq.org)

Howard Tevlowitz is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

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One Response to “From the Desk of Howard Tevlowitz”

  1. Sidney Topol June 10, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    Howard

    End the occupation

    That will really help

    And end the settlements

    That will help

    Sei gesundt Sid

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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