Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Two peoples, one tent

 

Jason Frances

"Through my time involved with Knights for Israel and being involved in the pro-Israel world, I've always mentioned how thankful I am to be at a university where even if anti-Israel sentiment exists, it's under the radar. And today was a beautiful example," said Jesse Benjamin Slomowitz, a student at UCF and member of the Knights for Israel.

With anti-Semitism raging on college campuses across the U.S., the Jewish students at the University of Central Florida, with a few exceptions, have not encountered the intimidating rhetoric from anti-Israel, anti-Semitic groups. In fact, quite the opposite often happens. Take, for example, a recent market day on campus in which groups set up tables to share information about their organizations. It was hot. Not every group had a tent to set their tables up under. There sat the UCF Knights for Israel at a table, tentless, next to the Muslim Student Association table, with tent. Then this happened...

"[The] Muslim Student Association at UCF tabled next to us and had a tent. For some time, they were under a tent and we were not. At some point, the gentleman at the MSA table graciously offered to move the tent towards us so both tables could get shade. No one asked him ahead of time; it was all on his own," Slomowitz shared on Facebook.

"MSA and the Israel group on campus under one roof in peace," he continued. "I was out tabling from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and met all types of interesting people... but throughout the whole day, this image is what made the day special," said Slomowitz.

"[I am] so proud of our Jewish student leaders at UCF for promoting a level of respect and community here at UCF," said Aaron Weil, executive director and CEO of Central Florida Hillel. "[I'm] equally impressed and proud of the way our Muslim cousins were so gracious, warm and inviting to their fellow students."

Weil said that at UCF, students don't just tolerate one another, but are "aiming higher for true acceptance of one another."

"Thank you to Knights for Israel and thank you to the Muslim Student Association for demonstrating what the future can look like when we act according to the best principles we both ascribe to," Weil exclaimed. "Yashir Koach and Mashallah!"

 

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