New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks in Brooklyn synagogue, declaring war on antisemitism.
(photo credit: CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK)
The City University of New York (CUNY) is reportedly playing down allegations of antisemitism at Kingsborough Community College, which is a part of public university system in the city.
This comes following a leaked email on February 21 to the CUNY Board of Trustees, President Claudia Schrader appeared to blame the media for shedding light on antisemitism on campus.
According to The Lawfare Project, a client Michael Goldstein, a Kingsborough Community College (KCC) administrator and adjunct professor, recently published an op-ed in the New York Daily News about the severe antisemitism he has experienced on campus, and pointed out the failure of his university administration to address the issue.
In the leaked email, Schrader told the Board of Trustees that exciting news about KCC earning prestigious recognition for narrowing equity gaps, was “to some extent being shadowed by the spate of negative news coverage that has recently appeared in the local press regarding allegations of antisemitism on our campus.
“The campus is also being besieged by a torrent of angry emails, expressing outrage on the part of individuals who are unknown and external to the college,” she wrote.
“As a staunch supporter of the college, you undoubtedly share my concerns,” she emphasized in the email. “It is indeed unfortunate that our beloved college community has been subjected to negative press that now has the potential to undermine the college's good reputation and imperil the outstanding work, done by so many, to advance student success.
Schrader sad that although she has “no authority” over perspectives published in newspapers and other media, “please rest assured that I am deeply committed to ensuring a campus atmosphere of inclusion, diversity and respect.”
She added that investigations are ongoing and “until these matters are resolved, we are taking all necessary measures to safeguard those who feel threatened, and to protect the rights of those accused.” Our focus remains on the education and wellbeing of our students.
The Lawfare Project slammed Schrader comments saying that instead of “responding with strong public condemnation and taking action against the harassment, Kingsborough's administrator chose to malign the press” for publishing Goldstein's story.
What’s worse, is that on February 25, in a college-wide email addressed to the KCC community from the KCC President, “there was no explicit condemnation of the antisemitism experienced by Goldstein,” the Project said in a statement. “Rather, the incidents were merely treated as ‘allegations of antisemitism.’
“While the email claims investigations are ongoing, Michael Goldstein has not received any clarification on the status of his claims,” they said. “The CUNY administrator's reaction underscores not only the college's abject failure in preventing antisemitism, but also its refusal to come to terms with anti-Semitism on its campus.”
The Lawfare Project added that it would continue defending the civil rights of Goldstein and called on the CUNY administration, “as well as New York's elected leadership, to seriously investigate the antisemitism plaguing their public campuses.
“It is time for them to take meaningful steps to hold perpetrators accountable and create a safer campus for all students and faculty,” it concluded.
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