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Response to Anti-semitism

Response to Anti-semitism

A statement on anti-semitism by concerned members of the class of 1966: 


In 2004, the United States Congress approved the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, as a response to anti-Semitic violence and hate speech in several countries, including some of the world’s strongest democracies. But an act of Congress is only a statement. Of itself it does not change either the attitudes of people, or how they treat others. Now anti-Semitism is rapidly on the rise again, here in the US as well as abroad. 


A recent statement by administrators at Rutgers University reminds us that at such times colleges, universities and academic professional organizations represent a “beacon of hope for our community.” They need to be a model for all institutions and associations that “respect and value the dignity of every human being.”


We ask that Wellesley College call out and denounce acts of hate and prejudice against members of its own Jewish community. We urge that other institutions of higher learning and academic organizations do the same. We in the academic world must all work together to create a mutually respectful, safe learning environment that is inclusive of differences. We must hold to account those responsible for anti-Semitic behavior. No act of violence, no form of bigotry is ever acceptable, regardless of one’s political views: not anti-Semitism, not any other form of bigotry or act of violence motivated by bigotry.


Written by:

Judith Peller Hallett, Professor of Classics and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Emerita, University of Maryland, College Park, Bethesda, MD

Avis Dimond Miller, Rabbi Emerita, Adas Israel Congregation, Washington, DC, Chevy Chase, MD

Phyllis Gottesfeld Knight, attorney, Denver, CO

Ellen S. Jaffe, MA, writer/poet and psychotherapist,Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Judith F. Mazo, retired attorney, Washington, DC

Marjorie Siegel Greenberg, Retired, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington, DC


More on this topic by the authors:

Background reading shared by the authors: