April 13, 2011

Letter to the Editor: A different Passover message

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To the Editor:

Re: “A Passover Message,” Opinion, April 11

“A Passover Message” unjustly marginalizes the significance of the large number of students on campus who identify as “culturally Jewish.” Though the article discusses how the perception of the Jewish community has improved with time, the continued use of blanket generalizations serves primarily as an avenue for condescension and divisiveness within our own community. To suggest that a sense of belonging to the Jewish people is inferior to more traditional religious observance discredits those who are proud — and rightfully so — of their Jewish identity, however they may choose to embrace it.

Cornell Hillel provides opportunities for students from a variety of Jewish backgrounds to pray, learn, give back and sometimes simply socialize with one another. From four different Friday night services each week, to the biannual Charity Shabbat dinner with the Center for Jewish Living (CJL), to Jewish Speed Dating, there is a wide array of programming to choose from — both cultural and religious.

As we approach Passover, a holiday with a message that commemorates our freedom from bondage as slaves in Egypt, Cornell Hillel would like to invite the campus community to join hundreds of Cornellians in Barton Hall on Monday, April 18 at the annual “Super Seder.”  For some this will be a religious celebration, for some a cultural celebration. Regardless of background, all are welcome.

Adam Fisher ’12, Cornell Hillel President and Ben Wegener ’12, Cornell Hillel Executive Vice President