BDS stands for BBQ Dinner Served. JLIC is reframing BDS for something positive.

At JLIC, BDS doesn’t represent a boycott. It means BBQ Dinner Served. It’s about bringing people together, celebrating unity, and fostering connections. Rav Ben and Ellie Menora, the dedicated JLIC directors at Binghamton, had a vision to turn a challenging situation into an opportunity for positivity and celebration.

With Yom Haatzmaut approaching after the semester’s end, the couple had been planning a grand Israel event to mark the occasion. However, recent challenges emerged as the Binghamton student association passed a BDS resolution, and a pro Hamas encampment surfaced at Binghamton. But instead of dwelling on division, the community chose to focus on the positive.

JLIC students at Binghamton enjoying a BBQ after the pro Israel Unity Rally to reframe BDS (BBQ - Dinner - Served)

A unity rally for Israel became the beacon of hope, drawing students and community members alike. Renowned speakers like Rudy Rochman, alongside the inspiring JLIC couple and student representatives, took the stage, spreading messages of unity, resilience, and love for Israel. The rally was more than just speeches; it was a celebration of diversity and strength.

Following the rally, the aroma of BBQ filled the air, symbolizing a positive celebration of Israel. Despite the traditional Yom Haatzmaut BBQ being celebrate earlier, the spirit of joy and camaraderie prevailed. It was an opportunity for students to take pride in their community and voice their unwavering connection to Israel on campus.

Rav Ben Menora set up on campus with his Ask Me Anything stand to help students understand the issues in Israel and how the IDF is a moral army defending their citizens.

The positivity and unity building began the day before the rally. Rav Ben, an IDF reservist with firsthand experience serving in Gaza, set up an “Ask Me Anything” stand near the pro-Hamas encampment on campus. Flanked by the US and Israeli flags, he stood as a symbol of honor and integrity. While some protestors chose not to engage, many students passing by were eager to learn more. What ensued were enlightening conversations, filled with mutual respect and understanding.

Rav Ben Menora speaking to Binghamton students at his Ask Me Anything stand to help students understand the issues in Israel and how the IDF is a moral army defending their citizens.

Most importantly, these interactions left a lasting impact. Students were pleasantly surprised by what they learned about Israel and the IDF, gaining a newfound appreciation for Rav Ben’s service and dedication to educating others. It was a testament to the power of dialogue and human connection in bridging divides and fostering understanding.

In the end, JLIC’s BBQ Dinner Served was not just a meal; it was a testament to our community’s resilience, unity, and unwavering commitment to positivity in the face of adversity. It’s a reminder that even in challenging times, there is always room for celebration, connection, and growth.

Reach out to any of our Directors to learn more about JLIC and our programming.

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