Letter from Jordan Fruchtman, Executive Director, Hillel
Dear Friends of Hillel:
Yesterday I received a disturbing email from Ms. Dee Sterling, accusing Hillel of, among other things, supporting George N. Rishmawi, an anti-Israel speaker involved with the International Solidarity Movement. This assertion is untrue. Emails like this are irresponsible and reprehensible. While Ms. Sterling’s allegations are not deserving of a response, I do, however, feel it is important to at least set the record straight, especially because Ms. Sterling uses her untrue assertions as a basis to request that the Jewish community withdraw their support of Hillel and Jewish Federation and Family Services.
First, please be advised that, contrary to Ms. Sterling’s assertions, Hillel does not support George N. Rishmawi or ISM, the organization with which he is affiliated. As a matter of principle, the values of ISM are in direct conflict with Hillel’s values and Hillel’s stance on Israel. Second, as a factual matter, Ms. Sterlings assertion that George N. Rishmawi was invited to speak at UCI on November 22, 2010, is untrue, as the person that has been invited by the Olive Tree Initiative to speak at UCI on November 22, 2010, is a different George Rishmawi, whose full name is George S. Rishmawi, who is the director of Siraj Center and whom we have been told is no longer involved with ISM. Although this second point is not important, as compared to the first point above, it demonstrates the confusion that Ms. Sterling is disseminating to third parties.
I will be demanding from Ms. Sterling an apology and a retraction of her email. If you are unfortunate enough to receive this email from Ms. Sterling or other persons, I hope you will give it the attention to which it is entitled (i.e., none). Also, I am hopeful that you will not allow the basis assertions of Ms. Sterling to affect your ongoing support of Hillel, Jewish Federation and Family Services and the Jewish students.
Please find below a response from student leaders at UC Irvine, co-signed by nearly 100 students.
Hillel Foundation of Orange County
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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act" George Orwell
The Signatures in the Petition referred to in the below letter from Jordan Fruchtman were Falsified by Hillel. Despite admitting that the Majority of the Student had not consented to being included and had not seen the Letter they were protesting, Hillel now claim a "clerical error" but has refused to Issue a Retraction or send a Letter of Apology to the Friends of Hillel. Surely we should be able to expect more of our Leaders?