Ellis Honored by White Rose Society

Bert Ellis, co-founder of the Jefferson Council and a University of Virginia board member since 2022, has been awarded the White Rose by the White Rose Society, for his stand in defense of Jewish students at UVA.

The White Rose Society honors and thanks “individuals who have become beacons of hope for the Jewish people by recognizing those who make a difference through their actions.” The organization’s name pays homage to the Weiße Rose (White Rose), a resistance group founded by non-Jewish students at the University of Munich in 1942.

“The BOV is now well aware of the antisemitic activities that have happened/are happening at UVA,” Ellis said. “I intend to keep antisemitism front and center until we can bring this issue under control. There is no reason why students and faculty at UVA cannot debate the issues of Israel and Palestine and the Middle East in an open and civil manner without the need to vilify or verbally abuse or threaten one side or the other.”

In early 2024, a student referendum at The University of Virginia urged the company which manages the school’s $14 billion endowment to “divest any corporations from its portfolio that do business in Israel.” In what one board member described as “one of the most shameful things to ever happen in the history of the university,” the referendum passed by an almost two-to-one margin. The vote came following months of rising antisemitic incidents on UVA’s campus, as Jewish students faced increasing threats and harassment. An effort by Ellis and two other board members to discuss the matter was quashed by the committee chair.

The next day, Ellis spoke up again. “We have a huge antisemitism problem at this university,” he said. He tried to introduce the topic for discussion in open session, but the rector (equivalent to board chairman) said conversation about “student safety” would be discussed only in closed session. Ellis persisted, even as all other board members sat silent. Eventually, the rector threatened to reprimand him and called for a vote to move into closed session. 

A Jefferson Council tweet with a video clip showing the confrontation generated 350,000 impressions.

“Now,” says the press release, “the White Rose Society is honoring Ellis for his courageous stance.”

Ellis received undergraduate and graduate degrees from UVA. In August of 2023 he was the recipient of the Courage Award from the Common Sense Society for his efforts in education. He currently serves as CEO and Chairman of Ellis Capital, a consulting and investment firm. A serial entrepreneur, he has founded and/or served on the boards of numerous successful businesses including WebMD, Act III Broadcasting, Ellis Communications, Raycom Sports, Vivex Biologics, Brightwell Payments, PlayOn Sports, and Johnson Energy Storage.

During World War II, the Weiße Rose called on their fellow students and the German public to decry Nazi crimes and resist the Nazi state.

Says the press release:

The legacy of the Weiße Rose reminds us to break the silence and boldly stand up for freedom and against evil and prejudice anywhere. …

“The White Rose Society honors and thanks the individuals who have become beacons of hope for the Jewish people by recognizing those who make a difference through their actions. The White Rose Society fosters unity among all who are willing to stand on the right side of history. As the list of recipients grows, may others seek to emulate their acts of friendship and moral courage.

Previous White Rose recipients include Georgia Governor Brian Kemp; U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres; Ernest Greer, Co-President of Greenberg Traurig; and Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul. For a complete listing of recipients please visit: www.theWhiteRoseSociety.com.

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j stoll
j stoll
3 months ago

Thank you Mr. Ellis for taking a stand and being bold. May that more Board members do the same.
Proverbs 24:10-12 applies here.

Dennis Hughes
Dennis Hughes
3 months ago

In Genesis 12:2-3“The Lord said to Abram, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse”.
I submit America has been blessed for the love we have for Israel and the Jewish people.
Thank you Mr.Bert Ellis for all you have done and continue to do for our university.

A White Rose
A White Rose
3 months ago

Congratulations on this award.

On the topic of antisemitism, interestingly, many of the biggest supporters of Israel–the likes of Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Tommy Robinson, RFK Jr., Viktor Orban, and far-right Christian Evangelicals like John Hagee–also happen to hold racist and antisemitic beliefs.

In fact, Netanyahu himself has played a major role in the spread of antisemitic conspiracies about George Soros.

This is unsurprising given that Israel, while claiming to represent the Jewish people, was founded on the back of the ethnic cleansing and subjugation of the Palestinian people.

Israel today, engaged in genocide against those “pesky” so-called “Palestinians” in Gaza, is a right wing demagogue’s wet dream! Unfortunately, one can only support the apartheid state Israel if you choose to view Palestinians as subhuman and undeserving of freedom and dignity.

Tragically, Israel’s actions, including the starvation of the people of Gaza, couldn’t be further away from the beautiful teachings of the Jewish faith. I’m glad to see that many Jews (especially younger Jews) are waking up to this reality!

Most of the older generation is a lost cause!

~A white rose

(Please do not approve my previous comments. Just this one.)

walter smith
walter smith
3 months ago
Reply to  A White Rose

Why welcome back under a different anonymous name. Let’s see…. I think you were UVA Student under one, maybe “Shame” for the other?
You know…you said you didn’t like me in one of your posts. Since I don’t believe I have ever met you, that seems that you are not being a “generous” and “empathetic” listener as the drafters of UVA’s fig leaf “free speech” statement advise.

And you triggered me by referring to “the older generation” as a “lost cause.” Not very inclusive language there is it?

Besides calling a whole slew of people “racists,” including Bobby Kennedy Jr, a grad of UVA Law but a heretic for not fully adhering to Woke Dogma (and he is still pretty woke), you then patriarchalize your slander with the crude “wet dream” term. It is a good thing you are so bravely posting anonymously because you should be reported to OECR to have your life ruined like Morgan Bettinger’s was over a lie from an activist who I think actually was racist.

Here is a simple truth – for the “Palestinians” – quit supporting Hamas. Quit supporting abolition of the Jews. I don’t really believe you on the “beautiful teachings of the Jewish faith.” I think you are a propagandist and couldn’t say what you agree with as the beautiful teachings of the Jewish faith. And if you manage to ChatGPT an answer, what to do about the conflicts with Islam? Intifada? Jihad? Submission? What does first the Saturday people then the Sunday people mean? Does Israel have the right to exist or not? When will the “Palestinians” through Hamas and Hezbollah quit killing Jews in acts of terrorism? And using their own people as shields? And putting tunnels under hospitals and mosques and universities to wage their terrorism? But other than that…

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
3 months ago
Reply to  walter smith

Well done, Walter.

Wahoo74
Wahoo74
3 months ago
Reply to  A White Rose

A White Rose, what you said is both a lie and tasteless. Perhaps you haven’t seen the iPhone videos taken by the Hamas invaders raping, murdering, and torturing Gaza Israelis? Or do you believe that they were fictitious or products of Israeli propaganda?

Israel has no choice but to eradicate Hamas. Hamas in wittingly and deliberately placing innocent Palestinian civilians in target sites, hoping they are killed, so they can elicit international condemnation from people like you. That is the fault of Hamas, not Netanyahu and the IDF. Previous peace accords all fell apart since Israel’s adversaries refuse to acknowledge the existence of Israel. The Charter of Hamas as I am sure you know calls for the destruction of Israel and murder of all Jews worldwide.

Those are the facts. Your statement above is despicable.

Dennis Hughes
Dennis Hughes
3 months ago

White Rose, after having been exposed, you appeared to be a flame thrower rather than one seeking a civil disagreement.

Walter smith
Walter smith
3 months ago
Reply to  A White Rose

Will anyone from Hamas be there?
Or the 71% of “Palestinians” who support the October 7 crimes against humanity?
What’s happening isn’t genocide. It is the result of “just” war as self defense.
But why not tell us why this “genocide” against willing co-conspirators demands a ceasefire, while other far more tragic displacements of real innocents happen in numerous spots in our fallen world.
From the event description it is hard to tell what he will be speaking about, but the caption seems to indicate that it is denialism that genocide is occurring in “Palestine.” Is that correct?
In my view, and that of other sane people, the denialism is in the “Palestinians” who refuse to acknowledge culpability in the provocation to the just war. You made your bed, now sleep in it. Prove me wrong without resorting to oppressor/occupier BS.