Values, Mission, and Standards
We as Claremont Hillel believe it is important to define what we want our community to stand for. These values represent the ways in which we want our members to interact with each other, with the larger Claremont community, and with the world outside the colleges. We will hold ourselves to the following values and will work to form a community in line with them.
We are all created B’Tzelem Elohim – בצלם אלוהים – in the image of God. As a community, we seek to nurture an environment where everyone can exist as themselves and feel no need to pretend to be something they are not. In doing so we acknowledge and affirm the racial and ethnic diversity of our community and society as a whole. We believe in K’vod Habriot – כבוד הבריות, the idea that there is dignity in all creations, and we seek to treat others in accordance with these beliefs.
We believe in the value of Shamor v’Zakor b’Dibur Achad– שמור וזכור בדיבור אחד, that we can simultaneously hold multiple realities in the way that we view the world. Hillel is a diverse community with a diverse range of opinions, and we want it to continue to be a safe space for all who wish to be a part of that community. As such, we respect the differences of opinion we all have among ourselves as long as individuals continue to respect the humanity of others.
We value the time-honored principle of V’ahavta l’Reicha Camocha– ואהבת לרעך כמוך, or loving one’s neighbor as oneself, because we belong to and live alongside so many other vibrant communities both in the Claremont Colleges and in the world beyond them. To give back to these communities we care about so much, we commit to working with interfaith and non-religious organizations on campus, in Claremont, and in the broader world community. We hope that in collaborating with these organizations, we will be better able to carry out Tzedakah –צדקה (supporting those in need).
We acknowledge that all of us will inevitably make mistakes and hurt others and therefore we affirm the value of Teshuva– תשובה (forgiveness). When wrongs do occur, we must seek to uphold justice through restorative measures. In the process, we will work to find a balance between a peaceful response and direct action against injustice. We engage in Lilmod v’Lilamed– ללמוד וללמד – learning and teaching – continually striving to understand the world around us and help others along that path. This means that we will not unnecessarily shame members of our community or use extreme measures in situations that can be addressed with caring and respect. However, we will also hold each other accountable for the effects of our actions and words on others.
We believe in the value of Kol Yisrael Aravim Ze l’Ze– כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה, meaning that we are all responsible for each other. Therefore, we believe it is our duty to stand up in the face of injustice both in our community and beyond. In accordance with this value, we will strive to determine how to best support everyone in our community by providing guidance and support to community members that need it.
We cherish Klal Yisrael- כלל ישראל, or Jewish peoplehood, by embracing all forms and expressions of Judaism. As a pluralistic Jewish organization, we accept without question the Jewish identities of those at Hillel. We acknowledge and affirm the racial and ethnic backgrounds of all Jewish people. We understand that different people have particular ways of expressing their Judaism, and we validate these various forms of Jewish existence. Accordingly, one can be part of the community without religious practice. Ultimately, we seek out ways of expanding our religious practice and communal traditions to better fit the needs and desires of our community. We believe that this diversity of Jewish identity makes our community stronger and more vibrant.
We seek to embody the virtue of Hachnasat Orchim– הכנסת אורחים or hospitality. We welcome those who wish to be part of our community, especially newcomers to Hillel. It is our goal to create a nurturing environment in which one can be oneself. We endeavor to be physically, mentally, and emotionally accessible to all members of our community. In the end, we strive to improve our community at all levels and to make Hillel a positive and supportive community, not a combative one. We try to foresee the needs of our community, but understand that some people may need additional accommodations that we do not currently have in place. If this is the case for you, please reach out to Rabbi Danny or a member of Hillel Board and we will be happy to provide what you need.
Claremont Hillel’s mission is to provide a fun, diverse, welcoming and inclusive Jewish community for the 7Cs. We aim to create a united community that accepts a diversity of ideas and viewpoints. We promote social action and awareness of international and domestic issues, provide Jewish education and leadership opportunities, and foster a distinct Jewish identity in every student. We encourage students to engage with the aspects of their Judaism including those that relate to Israel, religion, spirituality, and their shared Jewish peoplehood.
Standards of Partnership
Claremont Hillel may welcome, partner with, and aid the efforts of organizations, groups, and speakers from diverse perspectives in pursuit of our mission. Claremont Hillel will not partner with or host organizations, groups, or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice do not respect the human rights, self-determination, and aspirations for peace of all people, including Israelis and Palestinians. We ask that all invited partners abide by and demonstrate our Community Values. These guidelines do not limit any participant from engaging with our speakers and voicing viewpoints that may diverge from our Standards of Partnership, but we expect that all participants foster an atmosphere of civility and respect in line with our Community Values.