Open Hillel Highlights

2010 -- Under pressure from major donors worried that Hillel isn’t doing enough to defend Israel on campus, Hillel establishes its Standards of Partnership for Israel Activities.

November 2012 -- The Harvard College Progressive Jewish Alliance (PJA) is barred from hosting a panel, “Jewish Voices Against the Occupation,” with the Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee in Hillel. In response, PJA launches the Open Hillel campaign with a petition to Hillel International and building a coalition of students at various schools.

December 2013 - April 2014 -- Swarthmore Hillel, the Vassar Jewish Union, and the Wesleyan Jewish Community declare themselves to be Open Hillels: Jewish communities that welcome all perspectives on Israel/Palestine, regardless of the wishes of Hillel International or their donors.

October 2014 -- Open Hillel holds a national conference of 350 people. It features 40 panels on a range of topics in Israel/Palestine and the American Jewish community, as well as organizing trainings and strategy sessions on making change in the Jewish community.

February - May 2015 -- Open Hillel organizes a speaking tour of three longtime civil rights activists whose views violate the Standards of Partnership. Students at a dozen schools invite these speakers to campus; Hillel bars them almost every time.

March 2015 -- Open Hillel launches its Rabbinical Council.

November 2015 -- Jewish students and community members protest the Jewish Federations of North America (the main Jewish communal funders) and call upon them to stop conditioning their support for Jewish life on adherence to red lines on Israel-Palestine (such as Hillel’s Standards of Partnership).

January 2016 -- Open Hillel launches its Academic Council.  

March 2016 -- Open Hillel holds its first national student organizing workshop in Philadelphia. 

September 2016 -- Open Hillel holds its second national student organizing workshop in Connecticut.