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Vassar College Study Trip to the Jordan River Watershed and Surroundings March 4, 2014

Posted by Jill S. Schneiderman in Uncategorized.
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            One generation comes and another generation goes but the Earth remains forever. So goes the Ecclesiastical statement that motivated me to wade metaphorically and literally into the sullied and diminishing waters of the Jordan.

            I’m about to embark on a two-week journey with 28 Vassar students to the Jordan River valley and its surroundings. I was motivated to propose and teach such a course because from my perspective as an earth scientist, I understand how daily and future access to clean water in ample supply is one of the key issues about which people in the region fight. It is also a problem on which Arabs, Jews, Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis have worked together with integrity and compassion.

            And yet, as solid as I was in my commitment to this endeavor before my College’s “Open Forum on the Ethics of Student Activism and Protest at Vassar,” last night I was knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated to vilifying anyone who dares set foot in Israel. Our trip will take us from the headwaters of the Jordan River near the border with Lebanon down to the shrinking Dead Sea and through the bone dry Arava valley. With assistance from Friends of the Earth Middle East and EWASH (Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene in the occupied Palestinian territory), along the way, we’ll meet with Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians to learn about their perspectives and efforts with regard to the basic human right of ready access to clean water.

            I hope to have the time and energy to use my blog to process and articulate through mind and heart what I learn on this journey. 


1. I. Rose - March 5, 2014

No better way than to come & see for oneself the dire truth

2. jill - March 19, 2014

Thank you for your comment. This is what we are finding out from Palestinians, Jordanians, and Israelis as we continue along this journey. Thank you for this comment

3. Vassar - March 20, 2014

[…] weeks back, Jill Schneiderman, a professor of Earth Sciences at Vassar College, put up a post on her blog about an angry meeting at the liberal arts school the night […]

4. hophmi - March 20, 2014

Phil Weiss claims that you invited him to attend the CIE meeting. Can I ask why?


5. ThisIsPalestine (@ThisIsPalestine) - March 20, 2014

Sorry you were victim of the genocidal racist organization known as “Students for Just Us in Palestine.” Their douchey behavior has been known far and wide.

6. Dorothea - March 20, 2014

Ethnic cleansing is not just a crime when it’s done TO Jews, but also when it’s done BY Jews. We need to fight the ethnic nationalists and side with the people in the ghettos. Nowadays, the people in the ghettos are Palestinians. Never again – for anyone! Support BDS!
Greetings from Germany.

7. AM - March 23, 2014

Since Professor Schneiderman seems to be replying to the comments on her post, I am waiting to see what she has to say to the one that calls SJP a “genocidal racist organization”.

8. Vassar and the BDS war on campus | The Louis D. Brandeis Center Blog - March 25, 2014

[…] the professor who had apparently initiated the trip and who had mentioned the meeting in a post on her blog, where she wrote that she “was knocked off-center by a belligerent academic community dedicated […]

9. Anti-Israel academic boycott turns ugly at Vassar - March 27, 2014

[…] This semester the course was focused on a trip to the Jordan River Watershed and Surroundings in Israel and the West Bank, as described by Schneiderman at her personal blog: […]

10. David Sucher - March 28, 2014

I too am looking forward to your further thoughts once you have arrived back at Vassar.

But my first reaction (hours ago) to reading about the hostilities (Glick, Weiss, Jacobson, et al) was “Uh…she is surprised?”

11. The Anti-Israel Cultural Revolution at Vassar - April 6, 2014

[…] Schneiderman wrote a blog entry describing the anti-Israel atmosphere: […]

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