When the totalitarian regimes of the Eastern bloc collapsed in 1989, some predicted a return of virulent anti-Semitism. Certainly, it has not disappeared. But the new governments have been overwhelmingly less hostile toward Jews than their predecessors. Paul Berman argues that this is because anti-Semitism and liberty are incompatible:
Why Anti-Semitism Has Not Blossomed in Eastern Europe
At America’s Best Universities, Biblical Religion Is a Curiosity, if Not a Menace
At the time of Columbia University’s founding in 1784, notes Meir Soloviechik, the leader of the local synagogue, Gershom Mendes Seixas, was made a member of its board of regents. A Jewish student even gave a commencement address, composed by Seixas, in Hebrew. In the 20th century, Columbia attracted numerous Jews with the relaxation of quotas, and was the first secular university to create a chair in Jewish history. Barnard College, Columbia’s all-women’s school, was itself founded by a Jewish woman, and today has a large number of Orthodox Jewish students.