Greetings, Jews and allies!
Welcome to Ha’Am NewsMag – the official student-run Jewish newsmagazine at UCLA. Our goal is to keep you informed regarding all matters of interest to Jewish communities on campus and around the world.
Ha’Am is guided by the following three Pillars of Purpose:
I) Even with all of our divergent political perspectives, Ha’Am – as a Jewish newsmagazine – recognizes the importance of the State of Israel to the Jewish community on campus. However, we recognize that Ha’Am is not the first medium to which people turn for their Israel-related news. Therefore, we will concentrate on those areas in which our work is invaluable.
First, Ha’Am will serve as monitor to ensure that Israel is depicted factually in mainstream media. In this effort, we have no objective other than to present the truth. Thus, our readers should expect to hear both criticism and praise for Israel’s actions. It is our belief that transparency and accountability are what set Israel apart from its neighbors, and it is in her best interest that we preserve those features.
Second, Ha’Am will serve to purvey individual student perspectives on Israel and related issues to the campus community. These pieces will not be regurgitations of common knowledge. Rather, we will publish only those stories that are unique to Ha’Am and of interest to the UCLA community.
II) Traditionally, the UCLA newsmagazines exist to provide specific communities with the ability to advocate for their own causes. Because of the relative comfort we’ve achieved, this is a crusade upon which the Jewish community has only scantly embarked, leaving numerous issues in the Jewish community under-addressed. Ha’Am is committed to providing an outlet for Jewish activism on campus.
Our community still has much to say and to achieve in the realms of tolerance, equality, feminism, conversion, education, and LGBT issues. We see no single perspective on these or other issues to be representative of Ha’Am or of the Jewish community, other than the ideal that all voices should be heard. We hope to present as many thought-out stories, positions, and debates within our pages as possible, adding to the vibrance and care for which our community is known.
III) Related to the previous Pillar, Ha’Am will devote itself to confronting judgmentalism and divisiveness within and between Jewish communities. Of course, there is not one type of Jew or Jewish community, and we certainly don’t all agree about everything. However, that does not mean that we should remain ignorant or resentful of the manifold perspectives, traditions, and personalities that comprise the proud patchwork of Jewish society.
Unlike the interactions that take place in synagogues around the world, no expression of preference or perspective will be snubbed within the pages of Ha’Am. Our differences are to be taken seriously and celebrated, as they fuel the lively tradition of dialogue and debate that has sustained our community throughout the millennia.
We hope to bring diverse perspectives to our pages and to stimulate conversation about ongoing social developments within Judaism and the role of Jewish students in the world.
Peace be upon you,