by Save Koach
The students of KOACH were saddened to hear that USCJ will propose a hiatus on all funding for the KOACH program. KOACH has been committed to providing Jewish life to students on over 50 college campuses, helping to fulfill a major element of USCJ’s strategic plan. Furthermore, the students of KOACH have demonstrated over recent years that our enthusiasm is stronger than ever. Even after the major downsizing of the KOACH budget to its limited amount in the past year, and reducing staff to a single individual, KOACH has experienced increases in involvement and improvement in program quality. The demand is high for the type of programming that KOACH provides, and by committing to its future success with continued funding, KOACH will be able to cater to these needs in the short term, with the goal of raising our levels of success as more money becomes available in the long term.
There are those who question the value of funding a Conservative Movement-based program for the campus at all. To them we point out that Hillel’s primary focus is on students on the periphery. The Orthodox world is pouring millions of dollars into Jewish campus life. Resources for progressive religious expression are few, if not nonexistent. A failure to ensure such a presence in the Jewish campus world can only lead to the collapse of the dynamic center of the American Jewish community within a generation.
Therefore, the students of KOACH request that the USCJ executive board vote to maintain KOACH funding from the previous year for this coming fiscal year.If this request is granted, students propose to join the overall fundraising campaign, drawing on the support of family, peers, alumni, and other supporters in order to allow KOACH to take a more proactive role in insuring our future.
KOACH is absolutely essential to the future of Conservative Judaism. While a great deal of funding is consistently committed to pre-college programs including Solomon Schechter Day Schools, USY, and Nativ, this funding cannot be used to its full potential without an organization that supports these students in the next pivotal step of their Jewish journey. Young Jews cannot make the leap from Conservative Jewish High School students to committed Conservative Jewish adults on their own. If we do not provide an infrastructure of involvement for Conservative college students, we run the risk of losing a whole generation of Conservative Jewish members and leaders. Sustaining and eventually increasing funding for KOACH will allow the Conservative movement to survive and flourish for ourselves and for generations to come.
Students have already begun gathering support and funds for these efforts.
You can do the same by joining the cause at savekoach.org.