This week we completed the remembrance and commemoration of a quartet of Springtime dates that are vital in fashioning our framework of values as individuals as a people: Pesach, Yom Hashoah v’Hagvurah, Yom Hazicaron and Yom Ha’atzma’ut. Indeed, they comprise a modern anvil, of sorts, of Jewish history on which our sense of peoplehood continues to be forged.
These four compelling Jewish dates form an ironically fitting background to the recent head-shaking, enraging news that the editorial board of the storied student newspaper at Harvard University has embraced boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning (BDS) Israel as a legitimate editorial policy. At the same time, they also proclaimed their opposition to anti-Semitism.
Of course the newspaper’s two policy statements cannot co-exist side by side in a context that stands upon truth and honesty and respects morality. It is utter rubbish and nonsense to argue that it is not anti-Semitic to single out the only Jewish state on earth in so disproportionate a manner for the country’s real or imagined “sins”. Moreover, the founder of the BDS campaign, Omar Barghouti has time and again stated, reiterated and emphasized that Israel must not exist as an sovereign Jewish state.
Yet, such anti-Israel and anti-Jewish policies alas, are now the norm on campuses across North America. In the years to come, what will be the attitude of our children toward Israel? Will their attitudes to Israel be poisoned by pervasive, unabating anti-Israel prejudice, hatred and ignorance on campuses? Will negative attitudes toward Israel affect our children’s embrace of Judaism and of their place within our remarkable, infuriating, ancient, modern People? Will they have the ability – information, knowledge, resolve and sense of purpose – to be able to resist the malevolent aims of the calculating, devious haters of Israel who are succeeding in manipulating public attitudes against the Jewish state?
It falls to us – parents, grandparents and the wider community – to do our utmost to give our children the intellectual, emotional and collective wherewithal to stand their ground and even to push back against the individuals striving to bring about the demise of the Jewish state. Not to mention of course, that same wherewithal is the very pathway to belonging.
The best – though not the only – way for us to do our utmost is through Jewish education.
It is for this existentially key purpose that we pursue our objective of making Jewish education affordable for every family that seeks it for their children. When the day arrives that Jewish education is affordable in perpetuity, we will then see feelings of Jewish peoplehood and belonging will also be assured in perpetuity.
That day is not yet at hand. And the task is difficult. But, to borrow from Israel’s national anthem, we have not yet lost our hope. Nor will we.
As readers of this weekly update know, GAJE has launched an application to try to bring fairness and equity to the Government of Ontario’s education funding. If you wish to contribute to the funding of GAJE’s lawsuit, please click here.
For further information, please contact Israel Mida at: email@example.com
Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada. Your donations will be used for the sole purpose of underwriting the costs of the lawsuit.
Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE),
May 6, 2022