Anti-Semitism on campus

Anti-Semitism on campus

This is sent in response to an article by Debra Rubin, “Rutgers symposium tackles anti-Semitism everywhere…except at Rutgers” (April 5).

I was disappointed to learn of the disconnect between the creators of the symposium and the students and Jewish organizations on the Rutgers University campus. 

However, I was once again made aware of Jasbir Puar, an associate professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers. She spoke about three years ago at my alma mater, Vassar College, clearly vocalizing her blatant anti-Semitism laced with fictitious material. I was both angry and shocked. Both Vassar’s administration, even at its highest level, and many members of the faculty allowed her presentation and that of others expressing frank anti-Semitic views, without respect for or the participation of others explaining opposing views.

I wrote a letter to the president saying that in an institution of higher learning such as Vassar, Puar’s vile speech was unforgivable and unacceptable. I canceled my annual and generous contributions to the college, vowing not to begin again until civil discourse had returned to issues discussed on the campus. I concluded my letter by expressing that I was ashamed of the state university for having Puar on its faculty (where, it seems, she remains).

Since sending that letter, I am seeing at least attempts at teaching and using civil discourse, with a new president supportive of this, so that I will return to Vassar for my 55th reunion in June. I continue to avoid interactions with any of Rutgers programs, fine though they may be. 

Judith F. Topilow, MD 

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