CUNY schedules mandatory bias training session on Yom Kippur

The session on Wednesday is one of four training sessions that is mandatory for people serving on the university's job search committees.

CUNY Graduate Center (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
CUNY Graduate Center
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Brooklyn College, which is part of CUNY, scheduled an "implicit bias training" session on the morning of Yom Kippur when the Jewish participants would be unable to attend, according to a report by the New York Post.

The session on Wednesday is one of four training sessions that is mandatory for people serving on the university's job search committees, but Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for Jews and most of them, even some who work on Shabbat, don't work that day.

“This biases the process against observant Jews and secular Jews who typically attend services on this one day of the year. Such Jews are afforded only three meeting opportunities, while all others are afforded four,” a Jewish CUNY professor told the New York Post.

“That sounds like implicit bias to me. Imagine, if that was done to a group that is viewed as a disadvantaged minority.”

CUNY professor

The college later announced that Jews observing Yom Kippur would be provided with another opportunity to complete the session.

 PRAYING FOR forgiveness at the Western Wall before Yom Kippur (credit: ARIE LEIB ABRAMS/FLASH 90) PRAYING FOR forgiveness at the Western Wall before Yom Kippur (credit: ARIE LEIB ABRAMS/FLASH 90)

“While classes are not held on Yom Kippur, the college is open on that day. In addition to these dates, staff or faculty can request an individual training session,” said spokesman Richard Pietras.

CUNY's antisemitism problem

CUNY has been the subject of many antisemitism complaints, and a report published last week by StopAntisemitism gave the university a failing grade in its work to prevent and address antisemitism on campus.

On Monday, the New York Post repoted that CUNY had committed $1 million to tackling the antisemitism issue it is facing. Additionally, CUNY announced a new initiative to improve awareness of antisemitism and training to prevent it as well as a system-wide web page for reporting incidents on campus.