U of M Pro-Israel Groups Create Community Space On Campus

Pro-Israel groups at the University of Minnesota are calling a communal space home starting this spring, with plans to work together on Israel-centered programming next semester.

The space, at the Minnesota Hillel building on University Avenue Southeast, will include desks, storage space and seating for each of 16 student group representatives, plus large-group space for students to brainstorm together, said Students Supporting Israel President Leeore Levinstein. The groups plan to use the space to plan programs and tackle Israel-related issues.

“Everybody has their own niche, and its supposed to be a different one,” she said. “The idea is to figure out how to best utilize that.”

The group will discuss campus-wide issues including Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Members include representatives from Minnesota Hillel, Students Supporting Israel, J Street Minnesota, AIPAC and StandWithUs, among other groups.

They’re also hoping to plan more programs that explore Israel culturally, said Minnesota Hillel Israel Fellow Idan Cohen.

So far, the center has been repainted. By the middle of spring semester, it will be furnished with the help of grants from Hillel International.

“Having the physical space, I think, is going to be something that helps us come together and foster conversation,” Levinstein said.