Open letter from David Greenberg (Engineering ’66, Law ’69).
It is with deep regret that I must decline to participate in the interviews I have enjoyed and found inspiring for so long I can’t remember the number of years. I have nothing but the highest regard for everyone I have met and been associated with in the Jefferson Scholars program. I have been proud to be a part of the selection process of some of the most outstanding students entering my beloved University.
My experience on Grounds was transformational. I am forever thankful that I had the opportunity to earn two degrees from the University. My hope has always been that new students will have a similar experience to mine.
However, I have become profoundly concerned over the rise in antisemitism at the University and its impact on the safety and security of Jewish students on Grounds and in the University community.
Due to the recent unprecedented horrific massacre, rape, torture and kidnapping of civilians in Israel, including unarmed women, children, infants and the elderly, by the terrorist organization Hamas and the resulting glorification and celebration of such events on Grounds, I have become increasingly upset about the failure of the University’s administration to speak out with a full throated condemnation of the supporters of the atrocities committed by Hamas, namely the Students for Justice in Palestine. I am deeply disappointed in the lack of courage of the leadership of the University to condemn antisemitism on Grounds and in the University community. Not only have the statements issued by President Ryan lacked the strength of conviction and moral clarity expected of the President of Mr. Jefferson’s University at this time in our history, but also the silence about the demands for the University’s divestment from any companies affiliated with Israel and attacks on Israel’s right to exist is deafening. In addition, the University has not joined the broad coalition of more than 100 Universities United Against Terrorism.
The University’s failure to fully protect the safety and security of all Jewish students, faculty and staff at the University has made them fearful and put them at unjustifiable risk. Regrettably, for all of the reasons I have cited, I must decline to participate in the Jefferson Scholars’ interviewing of new students to join the University community at this time.
David I. Greenberg
David Greenberg serves as chair of the Jefferson Council’s Honor Committee, however, he wrote this letter in his capacity as an individual alumnus.