Forvertz: UC OK’s Study Abroad in Israel thanks to Bay Area Jews
Posted by Oyster on December 5, 2008
See for yourself, but here’s a juicy excerpt:
“This makes it more accessible, and that’s the most important thing,” said Gordon Gladstone, executive director of Berkeley Hillel at the University of California, Berkeley. “Spending long periods of time in Israel allows you to contemplate your Jewish identity in a way that few other things can.”
The announcement comes less than a year after the U.C. Board of Regents tapped Mark Yudof, the former chancellor of the University of Texas, to lead California’s extensive 10-campus system. Yudof, who keeps a kosher home, is only the second Jewish president in U.C.’s history. Yudof has visited Israel at least six times, and is married to Judy Yudof, a board member of Hillel International and a former president of the Conservative movement’s congregational arm, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
While the movement toward reinstating U.C.’s Israel study-aboard program has been in the works for several years, some pro-Israel activists said they saw Yudof’s interest in the issue as the tipping point. Upon his return from a nine-day trip to Israel in early July — just two weeks after he assumed the presidency June 16 — Yudof was quoted in the Bay Area’s Jewish weekly, the San Francisco J, saying, “I told Hebrew University that it’s no secret — I’m going to take another look” at the policy.