I was pleased to read about the positive Jewish programming taking place on many local university campuses. However, on second reading I noticed that all this activity if not under Orthodox sponsorship is being conducted by Orthodox students. I am delighted at the activity of these students. However, are Jewish campus activities confined to these students? Where are the other Jewish students? Aren’t there inter-denominational activities taking place? What about coalitions with non-Jewish groups? Where are the Zionist groups, the other denominations? Are Jewish activities the sole province of the Orthodox? If so, we are in great difficulty. Despite the noise, the Orthodox are still the minority of Jewish students. Or does it reflect a bias of the Standard in limiting coverage to Orthodox students?
I couldn’t help notice that both rabbis working with students in Bergen County are Orthodox. It seems that if we wish to extend our reach, the student workers should represent more than one approach. Also, as Israel is the main campus issue, having a Chabad rabbi, with all of Chabad’s ambivalence to the Zionist state (see Heilman and Friedman, “The Rebbe”), in so central a role is also questionable as is the imbalance of having only Orthodox mentors working the entire spectrum of Jewish life and commitment.