Hello dear friends,

A Jewish student on our campus has put up an art exhibition that accuses Hebrew of being the language of abuse. This is one in a string of anti-Israel incidents on campus. The wording this student chose, though clearly stated in a political context, applies to far more than just Israel. Every Jew prays in Hebrew. Every Jew celebrates in Hebrew. Every Jew sings in Hebrew. Although any language can be abused and misused by some of those who speak it, no language can be called ‘the language of abuse.’ Please, join us as we counter this statement.

Characterizing a language characterizes those who speak it. Hebrew is not a language spoken only by Jews at Evergreen. Jews at Evergreen were not the only people who hurt upon reading those words. Our response will be bigger than this campus. Already, we have people coming from as far away as Canada to sing in Red Square.

Already, there are people working on the East Coast to sing their own campus Shir l’Shalom. I know not all of you can make it to Olympia, or to Evergreen, but I ask that you help us show the world that Hebrew is a language of peace. If you want help to set up your own Shir l’Shalom event, please message one of the administrators of this event. We would love for you to help this become something bigger than ANY of us! Than ANY of our campuses! Than ANY of our political divisions!

Let us come together and sing.

On February 23rd, at 1pm, we gather at The Evergreen State College. We do not gather to debate politics. We do not gather to attack an artist. We do not gather to distribute literature. Instead, we come together to SING! We will be singing Hebrew songs about peace. Most of them, you probably know. Some of them, you may not. All we ask you to bring are your bodies, your voices, and maybe a few instruments, too! It doesn’t matter if you can read Hebrew, or not. We will have experienced song leaders on hand to teach, to sing, and to share. :)

If you are coming from out of town, you may not feel like driving all the way here, then back, on the same day. We will be providing lodging, with the generous support of the local synagogue, Temple Beth Hatfiloh, to those who wish to stay the night. Rabbi Cheski and Chava Edelman of Chabad Jewish Discovery Center have also generously offered to open their doors to out of town guests joining us for Shir L’Shalom. Let us know what you will need. Make sure you bring air mattresses and sleeping bags. :)

For those of you who are able to come, please try to arrange carpools. Feel free to use our wall to organize transportation. Our overnight out of town guests will join us for the most spectacular Jewriffic slumber party ever! … There may be a movie screening.

For those of you who cannot make it, feel free to link to your own Shir l’Shalom events on our Facebook event wall. Share it with your friends, on their walls! Share it on Twitter! If you don’t know what to sing, keep an eye on our YouTube channel! Songs will be posted during these upcoming weeks.

Please, join your voices in song with us. We at Evergreen are a part of your Jewish community. As you all know, what happens on campus rolls right into town. As we are only here to sing, please leave all signs and literature at home. We are striving to change the tone of dialogue surrounding these sensitive matters. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

If there are any further questions, please call our Hillel President, Joshua Levine, at 360.951.3299.

All our best,
Evergreen Hillel