July 21, 2019 | 83° F

Criticism of Hillel funding baseless and inaccurate

Letter to the Editor

I am a Rutgers alumnus and former member of The Daily Targum’s board of trustees and still try to check in with the Targum online as often as possible. I read an article in the opinions section today that I found problematic on multiple levels. On the most basic level, the article was poorly written and did not by any stretch of the imagination meet the level that is expected by the Targum. Beyond the writing level, this article was not legitimately researched, a fact that is at times a question in a letter to the editor. This was beyond inappropriate to be published due to lack of research. The author wrote:

“I am not 100 percent sure where this money is going, but seeing that they used a University building my only guess would be to the University, or specifically to the proposed Hillel building.”

This reflects a lack of research, since as an outside organization, the Jewish Federation rented space in the University and so there is no basis for her statement above.

She ends by questioning the Jewish nature of Hillel. While it is true that Hillel is a Jewish organization, there is nothing that excludes anyone from joining, and while I was a student, one of my good friends was an active leader in Hillel and was not Jewish. More importantly, someone I know posted the following in response to this article:

“As a non-Jewish person, does the Jewish nature make you feel welcome? Do you expect this building to benefit everyone?”

Actually, yes, and yes. I am a “non-Jewish” person and yet, Rutgers Hillel has made me feel welcome immediately when I expressed interest in getting involved, and they do so for everyone. What is this ill-informed author even saying? Why would someone expect Hillel to submit their money to the city of New Brunswick. If you have a problem with New Brunswick’s public arena, then write a letter to the city administrator who is actually in charge of city utilities.

Raffi Mark is a class of 2009 School of Arts and Sciences graduate.

By Raffi Mark

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