Penn Jewish Group Ends Controversial Student Stipend Program

Some parents complained that their kids who participated were becoming radicalized, university paper reports.

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University of Pennsylvania, view looking east
University of Pennsylvania, view looking eastCredit: University of Pennsylvania

A Jewish group at the University of Pennsylvania that had been paying stipends to students who completed one of its programs stopped the practice after objections from some parents of students, a media report says.

Meor had been paying $400 to each student who completed its Maimonides Leaders Fellowship program, designed to familiarize them with Jewish texts and concepts, the Daily Pennsylvanian reported.

The program entailed lectures from Jewish leaders, activists and rabbis and discussion about Jewish life and identity, and it enabled subsidized trips to Israel and other destinations, the independent student news organization reported.

But some parents expressed concern about the program and stipend, saying their kids were becoming radicalized, the paper reported.

The school Chaplain's Office and the Meor chapter at Penn reached an accord to end the stipends, the paper said. A spokesman for Meor told the paper that he didn't expect the ending of the stipend to reduce participation in the program.

A spokesman for Chabad, which offers students $350 to complete its Sinai Scholars program, said the Chaplain's Office hadn't contacted it about its program.

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