We call on Hillel International to stop allowing its donors to dictate the priorities of its community. The partnerships and mergers listed below sacrifice vibrant, open, inclusive, and pluralistic Jewish life in favor of promoting right-wing Israel advocacy.
Hillel International and local Hillel branches: cut ties with Maccabee Task Force, Israel on Campus Coalition, and Mosaic United.
Maccabee Task Force (MTF): MTF is a $50 million campus initiative created and funded by Sheldon Adelson, one of Trump’s largest financial and political supporters. Soon expanding to 80 campuses, it works to combat student activism for Palestinian human rights and funds right-wing Israel trips and events on campus through Hillel. MTF is headed by David Brog, the former executive director of Christians United for Israel, a group rooted in anti-Semitic theology. It also donated $800,000 to right-wing extremist organizations, including the Horowitz Freedom Center, which the Southern Poverty Law Center defines as a hate group.
Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC): Hillel International created the Israel on Campus Coalition in 2002, and the ICC continues to provide Hillel professionals with Israel advocacy training and support. Tina Price, a director and board member of the ICC, is also the chair of Hillel International’s board. The ICC openly endorsed and works with Canary Mission.
Mosaic United: Mosaic United is a $66 million Israeli government initiative led by Israel’s Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs, Naftali Bennett. Mosaic aims to combat “critical discourse” on Israel and promote a right-wing vision of the Jewish family on US college campuses through donations to Hillel International, Chabad, and Olami. Bennett leads Israel’s far-right Jewish Home party, which opposes same-sex marriage and interfaith partnerships; and supports religious laws that forbid married women from initiating a divorce. Bennett is strong supporter of Trump, and he echoes Trump’s xenophobic rhetoric and policies. He claims that welcoming African refugees “will turn Israel into a paradise for infiltrators,” and he advocates for shooting Palestinians who attempt to cross the border into Israel. Since partnering with Mosaic United, Hillel has barred the Israeli human rights organization Breaking the Silence from Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis; and expelled the LGBTQ Jewish student group B’nai Keshet at Ohio State University.
Hillel cannot claim to foster pluralism, inquiry, or real dialogue around Israel if it accepts millions of dollars from initiatives that exclude critical perspectives and bully, intimidate and spy on students. Maccabee Task Force, Israel on Campus Coalition, and Mosaic United are a threat to open discourse and nuanced engagement with Israel/Palestine on college campuses. Their bullying and intimidation tactics discourage Jewish students from participating in Hillel and intentionally scare activists from advocating for positions that these right-wing donors oppose.
Through Open Hillel’s #StudentsNotDonors campaign, Jewish students around the country are calling for open, pluralistic, and democratic Jewish campus communities.
If you want to end your Hillel’s partnership with one of these organizations, fill out this Google Form.