This coming week, November 14 through 18, is Israel Week at Colgate University. The events, presented by the Colgate Jewish Union and jointly sponsored by the Peace and Conflict Studies Department, the Sociology and Anthropology Department, the ALANA Cultural Center and the Sophomore Year Experience (SYE), include a variety of different cultural experiences.
The week is the brainchild of juniors Ben Suarato and Allie Weinreb.
“It started out with us wanting to do a memorial service for Yitzhak Rabin on the 10th anniversary of his death [Monday],” Suarato said. “We wanted to honor his memory and celebrate the Israel he envisioned.”
As planned, the week will feature a memorial service for Yitzhak Rabin on Monday at 6 p.m. in the Saperstein Jewish Center. The service will be followed by a panel discussion titled, “The Prospects for Middle East Peace 10 Years After the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin,” featuring a number of distinguished professors from both Colgate and other universities.
“In Israel, a holiday of mourning is followed by a holiday of celebration,” Suarato said.
Tuesday will feature a Middle Eastern Food Festival for dinner at Frank.
“The Frank night is something we’re doing because we want to show that the Middle East can be fun, too,” Weinreb said. “We want the entire student body
interested in the week.”
Along the same lines, Wednesday will feature the screening of the film, Out for Love…Be Back Shortly, followed by a discussion with the film’s director, Dan Katzir. The film tells the story of two young Israelis falling in love during the period just after Rabin’s death.
“We don’t want this week to be just about violence and politics,” Suarato said. “The movie addresses political issues, but it’s also about the regular lives of Israelis.”
The week’s events are rounded out with a lecture by Nonie Darwish, a Muslim raised in Gaza and Egypt, entitled, “The Importance of Building Peace and Mutual Respect between the Arab World and Israel” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in Golden Auditorium, and an Israeli Theme Shabbat at 5:30 pm at the Saperstein Center. The Jewish Union will also be selling peace bracelets at a table in the Coop throughout the week. The proceeds from the bracelets, which say “Peace” in Hebrew, English and Arabic, will go to the Save a Child’s Heart charity, which helps fund heart surgery for children around the world.
Weinreb stressed that the week would provide an opportunity to learn something about the Middle East beyond violence and politics.
“People don’t realize what Israel is about,” Weinreb said. “We want to introduce everyone to the Israeli lifestyle,”
Additionally, the week is structured to offer a multi-faceted view of Israel.
“We wanted to avoid a purely Zionist viewpoint,” Suarato said. “Israel is more than just Jews. If the panel isn’t your flavor, come to Frank night. If that doesn’t interest you, come to the movie or donate to the charity. We want to present a range of views, as well as show what’s going on peacefully in Israel.”