From the Pillars of the Community program:
Reverend Aimee Moiso arrived at Santa Clara University in 2008 to head the university's newly created Interfaith Ministries. From the beginning, Aimee, a Presbyterian minister, embraced Santa Clara's Jewish Student Union (JSU) with active and thoughtful support. As a private jesuit university, Santa Clara's jewish student population is not large, but Aimee's interest in people and diversity impel her to reach out.
She provides logistical and spiritual support for annual JSU events such as the Passover seder and the Welcome Weekend Havdallah dinner. She encourages Jewish students to take part in the Interfaith Ministries Council. And she always gives JSU students a voice in Interfaith events, such as Thanksgiving and the 9/11 memorial services.
Aimee's creativity, energy, and irresistible good nature are as important to her work as her love of intellectual exploration.
All of this came into play when an anti-Semitic speaker was scheduled to speak on campus. She urged students and departments involved to take a deeper look. [Official university support] was rescinded.
"Campus Ministry tries to be transparent about tough issues," says Aimee. "We want to honor free speech but not hate speech. Sometimes students are so passionate they don't understand-or care-what the consequences of their actions are. So we try to honor passion, but model how to respect each other. It's a tricky balance:'
Aimee grew up in Portland, Oregon, the daughter of a minister. Initially, she had no interest in following in her father's footsteps. But her interest in the intersection of faith and "how we live our lives" eventually drew her to the ministry and, then, to campus life. As Aimee says, "These are the issues college students struggle with."
As Hillel appreciates the support that Aimee and Interfaith Ministries provides, so she appreciates Hillel's support, saying "I wish every religious group had an organization that helps as much as Hillel:'