By the early 1960s, Rabbi Schneerson’s son-in law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, had created Chabad Houses where non-religious and religious Jews could gather for prayer, learning, and partaking in Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. Today there are Chabad Houses all over America.
The Chabad Houses sparked incredible activity. New shuls were built and kosher food became available even in the most remote cities and towns of America.
A frum Jew today can travel from Alaska to Wyoming and he will find a minyan and kosher food. I doubt that would be the case had it not been for the vision of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson, his son-in law, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and their followers.
Brooklyn College Outrage
In my thirteen years as a trustee of CUNY, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to observe the intellectual corruption and anti-Semitism of many in America’s academic elite. I hear about it from trustees in colleges and universities across America and it’s become more common at CUNY, with Brooklyn College as an unexpected hotbed. The current plans for an anti-Israel BDS conference with the school’s co-sponsorship via the political science department raise new questions.
If an individual professor engages in selective hatred of Israel and the resulting intimidation of Jewish students, or if branches of the MSA (Muslim Students Association) is involved, that is bad enough.
I cannot, however, be silent about the official co-sponsorship of an entire academic department of a Nuremberg-like conference on a CUNY campus. This is a misuse of tax-levy funds. This is not an academic conference in any sense. Furthermore, how do we know that every professor in that department supports this drivel?
These BDS advocates single out Israel as a cover for rank anti-Semitism. It is not about saving Palestinians (who mostly need to be saved from themselves and their leaders); rather, it is about delegitimizing and destroying Israel. They do not want a two-state solution. To them Tel Aviv and Haifa are “occupied territories” as much as Gaza, long vacated by Israel and now one of the world’s most prominent terrorist launching points. They deny – as anti-Semites do – the eternal connection of the Jewish people with their land.
I call on taxpayers to draw a line here and make it known: taxpayer dollars should not fund racist and anti-Semitic activities by any academic department. Those of us who care about Israel would do no less if others were similarly treated. Additionally, academic administrators should be reminded that Jewish students are no less entitled – under applicable federal law – than other students to an educational environment free of intimidation and prejudice.
Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld