Skip To Content
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now

Why Doesn’t Hillel List Swarthmore Or Wesleyan In Its College Guide?

Hillel’s College Guide lists 981 colleges and universities, from IDC Herziliya to Southern Methodist. And yet, Swarthmore and Wesleyan, where students participated in the controversial Open Hillel movement, are missing from the list entirely. Guilford and Vassar, the other two schools commonly affiliated with the movement, are listed in the guide. They remain affiliated with Hillel International, while Wesleyan and Swarthmore are not.

The search results for Swarthmore in the Hillel College Guide. Image by Hillel International Website

Each school in the guide comes with a snapshot, some more complete than others, that lists quick facts like the school’s Jewish population, the availability of kosher dining, and whether or not the community is served by a Hillel.

Some schools on the list are served by a nearby Hillel. For example, William Woods College in Columbia, MO is served by the the University of Missouri Hillel.

Then there are the schools that have no Hillel and are not served by a nearby affiliate, like Wichita State, Western Kentucky, or Westfield State.

And yet, those schools, without a Hillel or the significant Jewish populations of Swarthmore or Wesleyan, appear on the guide.

In a statement on Wesleyan and Swarthmore, Hillel spokesman Matthew Berger simply said:

“The campuses you cited are not included because they do not have a Hillel.”

“I think that it is sad that Hillel is denying Swarthmore and Wesleyan access to its resources and community because the students have expressed that they want to engage meaningfully with Israel/Palestine without censorship,” said Elana Metz, a national organizer with Open Hillel. “And I think it is sad that Jewish students using the Hillel College guide to help them decide where to go to school will not know about the vibrant and beautiful Jewish communities that exist on those campuses. What are they trying to hide?”

Contact Jesse Bernstein at [email protected] or on Twitter @__jbernstein


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.