Forum on campus BDS offered in Marin

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The Jewish Community Relations Council and Jewish organizations in Marin County are joining forces to present a free forum next week aimed at helping high school kids, their parents and others understand the BDS movement’s impact on college campuses.

BDS is the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

According to organizers, “Understanding BDS on College Campuses” — from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael — will aim to define the movement and who’s behind it, examine issues such as free speech, and show what is being done by students and others on local campuses such as U.C. Davis, U.C. Berkeley and Stanford.

Joanne Green, director of Jewish engagement at the Marin JCC, said the event also will explore “how issues are lumped together” by pro-BDS activists, which leaves some students wondering “how can they support Israel … if they’re for social justice?” She said more than 200 people are expected to attend.

The event will include a panel presentation by Rabbi Doug Kahn, executive director of the S.F.-based JCRC; Marc Dollinger, Jewish studies chair at San Francisco State University; and Becca Berman, a sophomore at U.C. Berkeley and founder and president of Bears for Israel.

The evening will include teen and adult breakout sessions, along with input from Israelis who work at local Hillel chapters and representatives from StandWithUs, a pro-Israel group heavily focused on campus issues.

The conference is free, but advance registration is requested at www.marinjcc.org/bds-rsvp. For more information, visit www.tinyurl.com/jcrc-bds-campus or call (415) 957-1551. The Osher Marin JCC is located at 200 N. San Pedro Road in San Rafael.