Three Insider Perspectives on the Fate of Jews on Campus

February 27, 2024 | David Wolpe, Talia Khan, Steven Pinker
About the author: David Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and the author of, among other books, Why Be Jewish? and Why Faith Matters. He can be found on Twitter @RabbiWolpe.

Harvard administrators last week had to condemn what they rightly described as a “flagrantly anti-Semitic cartoon” that student groups, with faculty support, had distributed on social media. On Sunday, a Jewish professor named Raffaella Sadun resigned as co-chair of the school’s anti-Semitism task force, apparently because she felt it did not have power to make even minimal changes.

Nearly three months ago, David Wolpe resigned from the same committee on similar grounds. He explains his experience, and his decision, in this interview with Dovid Bashevkin. Bashevkin also speaks with Talia Khan—a student at MIT who testified at the fateful December congressional hearing—about the harassment she and her fellow Jewish students have been subjected to, and the university’s callous, if not hostile, response. In the final segment, the Harvard linguistics professor Steven Pinker, a longstanding critic of the corruption of American higher education, discusses how it is possible to combat entrenched anti-Semitism while defending academic freedom. (Audio, 96 minutes.)

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