President Carter, Yeshiva University and Our Community

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President Carter, Yeshiva University and Our Community: Having a Yeshiva which is a University

Guest post by R. Michael J. Broyde

Rabbi Michael Broyde is a law professor at Emory University, was the founding rabbi of the Young Israel in Atlanta and is a dayan in the Beth Din of America. For the sake of transparency, he notes that he graduated from Yeshiva University or its affiliates four times (MTA, YC, and RIETS twice), and both he and President Carter are currently professors at Emory University. Neither of these institutions nor the Beth Din of America necessarily agree with these thoughts. This brief piece was originally written for the RCA internal listserv in response to some who expressed dismay over Yeshiva University’s decision in this matter.

President Jimmy Carter will be speaking at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law and a number of Yeshiva alumni are upset. President Carter is considered by many to be anti-Israel and to have seriously damaged Israel in the world of international politics. They view his invitation by a journal published by students of Yeshiva’s law school as contradicting the mission of a Jewish university, of Yeshiva University. Here is why I disagree.

If we want a Yeshiva which is a University, it is because we accept that there will be academic freedom and civil discourse within the Yeshiva which is a University, and even more so within the more secular parts of the University.

We can seek to run a purer yeshiva only, in which the medical school and the law school and even the whole structure of the University not only complies with the basic expectations of negative halakhah (the food is kosher and there are no classes on Shabbat) but is part and parcel of the Orthodox experience. Such an institution would have no academic freedom. Instead, the ideology of the University would be directed and controlled by the religious mission of the institution, such as occurs at, for example, Herzog College and Yeshivat Har Eztion.

I have no reason to think that such a program will be a success as a University and one can certainly doubt that it will produce a medical school as great as Einstein, or a law school as good as Cardozo aspires to be. To be honest, I am not even sure how much I would like such a yeshiva. Ideological rigidity never spoke to my soul, although I recognize very much that RIETS has much more of an obligation to patrol the boundaries of Orthodoxy than Einstein does.

Rather, the basic balance of any yeshiva which is a university is that – particularly in the more secular graduate programs off the two main campuses – people are entitled to express their own ideologies and to advocate ideas (both as faculty members and as students) that are contrary to the mission, tone and tenor of the university. We who are loyal fans of the central mission of YU see these ideas as challenges to which we should respond and, absent this freedom, would not otherwise encounter.

Such is not only the bedi’eved life of a yeshiva which is a university but is part of the le-chatchilah mission of such a magnificent institution. President Joel’s response (below) – that not everything our faculty or students say or do is part of the YU mission but we are not going to censor them – is the right reply to a student group honoring a President of the United States whose policies we do not agree with.

Of course, I recognize that on the two main college campuses – where Orthodox Judaism is grown and nurtured and where the yeshiva resides – must have a different balance and tone. That is part of the magic that is a yeshiva which is a university. To be honest, I am not sure exactly what the balance is on the main college campuses of YC and Stern because the Orthodox boundaries are complex – but even recognizing that those balances are different than at the graduate schools is part of the complex equation.

In response to those who call for an economic boycott of YU to punish it for its stand on this issue, I, for one, will donate more to YU in light of reasoned response from its President and I encourage others to do the same. YU is the beacon of the ideal in our community. Of course it is not perfect (what is?) but it would be a less perfect an institution, and not a more perfect one, if the administration of Yeshiva University interfered with the academic freedom of a Cardozo Law student group functioning in its own name to honor a former President of the United States.


President Richard M. Joel’s Statement in Response to Student Journal of Conflict Resolution Advocate for Peace Award Selection

The student-run Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution has invited former United States President Jimmy Carter to receive its Advocate for Peace Award. President Carter’s invitation to Cardozo represents solely the initiative of this student journal, not of Yeshiva University or the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School. The university recognizes the breadth of impassioned feelings engendered by this appearance, and is mindful of the diversity of expressed opinions on the matter.

At the core of Yeshiva University’s expressed mission and sacred mandate stands an unwavering and unapologetic commitment to the legitimacy, safety, and security of the State of Israel. Israel remains not just a critical, but an essential pillar of our institutional and communal ethos. We’ve built a campus in Israel; our students study there in droves; our alumni make aliyah by the thousands; all of our schools engage in collaborative programs with Israeli institutions. Both literally and emblematically, Yeshiva University proudly flies the degel Yisrael, the Flag of the State of Israel, both on our campuses and in our hearts.

While he has been properly lauded for his role in the Camp David Accords of 1978, I strongly disagree with many of President Carter’s statements and actions in recent years which have mischaracterized the Middle East conflict and have served to alienate those of us who care about Israel. President Carter’s presence at Cardozo in no way represents a university position on his views, nor does it indicate the slightest change in our steadfastly pro-Israel stance.

That said, Yeshiva University both celebrates and takes seriously its obligation as a university to thrive as a free marketplace of ideas, while remaining committed to its unique mission as a proud Jewish university.

Richard M. Joel
President and Bravmann Family University Professor

About Michael Broyde

93 comments

  1. Excellent piece.

  2. Arnie Lustiger

    “people are entitled to express their own ideologies and to advocate ideas (both as faculty members and as students) that are contrary to the mission, tone and tenor of the university.”

    But surely there must be limits to such entitlement. Would Rabbi Broyde or President Joel react with the same equanimity if the Journal of Conflict Resolution had invited Mahmoud Ahmedinejad? How about Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas? Well, Jimmy Carter has figuratively as well as literally embraced both.

    Let us review Jimmy Carter’s record:
    1987: Carter intervened to help a Nazi war criminal.
    2006: Carter said that pressuring Hamas economically is immoral – but pressuring Israel economically is desirable.
    2006: Carter predicts that Hamas will be a peaceful party and that they hadn’t had any terror attacks on the previous 18 months, an obvious lie.
    2007: Carter quotes a fake Nelson Mandela letter to”prove” Israel is an “apartheid state”
    2008: Carter claims that Palestinians in Gaza were being “starved to death” and received fewer calories a day than people in the poorest parts of Africa.
    2008: Carter entreats Europe to ignore the official US position on Gaza terrorists and embrace them instead.
    2009: Carter again asserts that Gazans are “literally starving.”
    2009: Jimmy reportedly asks Hamas to “Help us to help Obama to overcome the Zionist lobby”
    2009: Carter was revealed to have been against a separate Israel/Egypt peace agreement.
    2010: Carter praised Palestinian Arab “democracy” but casts doubts on Israel’s democracy
    2012: Carter blames the Jews for the Christian exodus from Palestine.
    2012: Jimmy Carter expresses support for Islamists in power in Egypt where they can implement misogynist and discriminatory laws according to their religious duties.
    2012: Carter says that if Iran has one or two nuclear weapons, it is no big deal.
    For much more on Jimmy Carter, see elderofziyon.blogspot.com/

  3. Perhaps Rabbi Broyde might address why there is a need for YU to have graduate level programs in Law and Medicine rather than an affiliation with some other university’s program?

    I’m also a bit confused by “Such an institution would have no academic freedom. Instead, the ideology of the University would be directed and controlled by the religious mission of the institution”, perhaps spome specific examples of what is feared?

    Similarly President Joel’s closing: “That said, Yeshiva University both celebrates and takes seriously its obligation as a university to thrive as a free marketplace of ideas, while remaining committed to its unique mission as a proud Jewish university.”, again specific examples of where the red lines are (or aren’t would be helpful)

    I would agree that once the selection was made, YU had no choice but to accept it, and in many ways it is the only wheel in town, I guess I just have a hard time celebrating
    KT

  4. YU itself honored Jihan Sadat. Some students honoring Jimmy Carter does not seem like much of a stretch from that.

  5. I’d like to know a few more details. Will Yeshiva administrators be there to welcome him or will it be left to the students who cannot be censored? Will President Joel and distinguished faculty join the protesters that will undoubtedly jeer Mr. Carter and make him feel unwelcome?
    I also would like to know what the response is to Arnie Lustiger’s question. Where do we draw the line? Would there have been a similar response if other anti-Semites, were invited?

  6. One more question – why would a former President of the United States want to accept an award from a student group at a very average law school? Isn’t this beneath him?
    also, I enjoyed Rabbi Broyde’s swipe at Cardozo (as great as Einstein is and as good as Cardozo strives to be)

  7. Former USA President Jimmy Carter helped to get rid of the Shah of Ira, which led directly to the current Islamic terrorist government in Iran. He totally failed to end the Iranian hostage crisis, which ended the same day as his term as USA President.

    Jimmy Carter also forced banks to loan money to “politically correct” minorities, even when those minorities did not demonstrate their ability to repay those loans. This unwise policy contributed greatly towards the mortgage and banking crisis of a few years ago, which caused such massive economic problems.

    Jimmy Carter loved Arab nations and hated Israel; he had nothing but praise for Arabs, and nothing but rebuke for Israel. Jimmy Carter often publicly rebuked Israel for being “intransigent,” a world which he applied exclusively to Israel and never to Arabs.

    Jimmy Carter’s secretary of state was the first ever holder of that office to meet with Yassir Arafat of the terrorist PLO.

    Even when Jimmy Carter was running for President, I clearly understood that he was an enemy of Israel, even though I was only 17 years old at the time.

    Jimmy Carter blamed his failed re-election attempt on the Jews, even though 85% of Jews voted for him; in Jimmy Carter’s mind, anything less than 100% of Jews voting for him was unacceptable, and he publicly vowed revenge against Israel to punish Jews for their “betrayal.”

    We still suffer today from the incompetence and stupidity of Jimmy Carter.

  8. Hershel Goldwasser

    As usual an excellent piece from the greatest posek and rabbi who ever graced America with his presence, HaRav HaDayan Michael J. Broyde, shlit”a.

    The greatest achievement of my life is that I am his rebbe.

  9. This entire argument is a fallacious straw man. Rabbi Broyde frames the argument against inviting Carter as stemming purely from religious Orthodoxy, and then makes it about academic freedom vs. religious coercion, yeshiva vs. university. I find this highly perplexing. The Jewish opposition to Carter has nothing to do with religion per se, it’s about having basic national and ethnic pride! Even secular Zionists oppose Carter and honoring him. It would be objectionable for any Jewish university, including Brandeis, Ben Gurion U., whatever, to invite Carter. It has nothing to do with religion.

    Alan Dershowitz, not very religious at all, also opposes the invitation and calls it stupid (look online). Is Prof. Dershowitz, one of the most respected academics in the world (within R. Broydes own field of law, I might add) opposed to academic freedom? Is he a religious fundamentalist? No, he’s just a proud Jew. Let’s not be so open minded that our brains fall out. It’s OK to have some basic self respect and national pride and limit who we honor, even from a secular universalist perspective, I would hope. This is not about speech, it’s about giving honor and legitimacy. Carter is being honored, not just giving a speech. And besides, when people preach about academic freedom of speech they generally selectively only apply it to those on the left. If Naftali Bennett were invited to Cardozo, or any Law School in America, the open minded free speech loving left would have a fit and riot at his appearance.

  10. Yeah, yeah, all true. (Although this Cardozo graduate does *not* appreciate the swipe at his alma mater.) But one niggling detail: Discourse about Israel on university campuses around the world has reached a disgusting low which usually tips over into overt anti-Semitism. We really *don’t* need YU to be joining that list, although the editorial stances of the Commentator in recent years veer that way, and crazy leftist students at Cardozo cannot, I suppose, be prevented from being the same as crazy leftist (and, rachmana litzlan, usually Jewish) students at any law school.

  11. Alen Dershowitz’s take:

    http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/04/08/alan-dershowitz-on-jimmy-carters-human-rights-award-from-jewish-law-school-i-cant-imagine-a-worse-person-to-honor-for-conflict-resolution/

    “He (Carter) has been bought and paid for by Saudi Extremists. His Carter Center stopped investigating human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia when he received payment from important and wealthy Saudi businessmen”. Wow.

  12. I was dissapointed to see R. Broyde’s post. As MY pointed out, his argument has some internal flaws. And much of what he writes has been said by so many. I guess I was hoping for something more, given R. Broyde’s credentials.

    R. Broyde: Don’t feel compelled to comment on every tumult. The world won’t fall apart if you don’t put in your two cents. And when you do say something – well, say something of substance.

  13. shachar haamim

    I think MY has hit the nail on the head.
    However, as a YU alum who made aliyah and considers himself Jewish and Israeli (and frankly no longer American…) I have long ago accepted the fact that there is a certain non-zionist as well as post-zionist (and perhaps even anti-zionist) element within YU which doesn’t always have Israel’s interests at heart.

    Read Isi Libeler’s article from yesterday on the letter published by the Israel Policy Forum (his article was published in the Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Candidly-Speaking-Sanctimonious-Jewish-bleeding-hearts-309125 as well as yisrael hayom http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=3943
    the IPF letter is here http://www.israelpolicyforum.org/press/letter-prime-minister-netanyahu-support-pursuing-peace)

    There are a few signatories on the letter with STRONG tis to the YU community – including members of the trustees, significant donors and a former candidate for President of the University (thank God he wasn’t chosen!). These are people who while they support many Jewish – and Israeli – causes – also have other interests, including economic or political interests in the arab world. this is just a fact.
    As long as these facts are clear and above board and students are aware of the fact that despite the fact that these people may be honored by YU, are involved in the administration of YU, or are major donors to YU, their views don’t necessarily represent the “official” view of YU (whatever that is…).

    While – personally – I am repulsed by the affiliation these people have with YU, I recognize the fact that YU is a large institution with a broad based student body and broad diversity of views and opinions. I think that most of YU is zionist and has the good of the Jewish people (most of which is in Israel today…) at heart, and that those people are NOT zionist (and some of whom DON’T have the good of the Jewish people at heart), and when push came to shove YU made intelligent choices with respect to the above issues when choosing its administrative leadership.

  14. shachar haamim

    “We really *don’t* need YU to be joining that list, although the editorial stances of the Commentator in recent years veer that way, and crazy leftist students at Cardozo cannot, I suppose, be prevented from being the same as crazy leftist (and, rachmana litzlan, usually Jewish) students at any law school.”

    Nahum – I don’t follow the Commentator, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the non-zionist or even anti-zionist line at YU undergraduate program becomes more pronounced as time goes on.

    Eventually the cognitive dissonance of being a “zionist” but living in exile catches up with you (satmar doesn’t have this problem…) and the true zionists have moved to Israel. So what’s left at YU – the “children of” and “children of colleagues of” – the signatories to the IPF letter??
    This is a trend which happened to UK jewry as much of it made aliyah leaving behind a weakened community, and there is no reason to think that a similar decline won’t happened in america – which is itself in the process of a long – and probably irreversible, social and political decline. You know where some of the Jews end up when this happens…the yarmulke doesn’t always prevent this…

  15. 1. “If Naftali Bennett were invited to Cardozo, or any Law School in America, the open minded free speech loving left would have a fit and riot at his appearance.”

    Nonsense.

    2. “It would be objectionable for any Jewish university, including Brandeis, Ben Gurion U., whatever, to invite Carter.”
    True, if YU were inviting/honoring Carter. But YU is NOT inviting him. A group of STUDENTS are. (Which, BTW, is what also happened in Brandeis.) What should YU have done? Banned the meeting and made Carter a martyr to freedom of speech? That would have driven many students against the honor to Carter to have supported their fellow students’ right to invite and honor who they (and not YU) choose. President Joel and R. Broyde got it just right.

    3. Carter is an enemy of Israel but he’s not the president of Iran (who I would name if I could spell his name). And he did help broker a [peace with Egypt which, I would guess, the vast majority of Israelis are happy about. (I know, probably not you Nachum.) So we should keep some perspective, as the YU administration did.

  16. R’JK,
    “President Joel and R. Broyde got it just right.” In the decision or their articulations above. If the latter, I’d be interested in your response to the questions I posed above.

    KT

  17. Joseph: You honestly don’t know that leftists literally disrupt speeches on campus all the time? Maybe- just maybe- not Bennett, but I can think of lots of other Knesset members who’d get that treatment. Netanyahu did, in Canada.

    As to Egypt, bingo! An important part of my education was learning that Meir Kahane was always right. Growing up and reading his books, I once came across a sarcastic comment he made about the Egyptian peace. “Really?” I thought. “He’s right about everything else, but this is whacko.”

    Oh, Nachum, you were such a fool as a kid. Here’s what I wrote on another blog:

    “As for Egypt, with what’s happening now, we should ask ourselves: There’s no deal with Syria, and yet Syria has not attacked Israel since Egypt last did. Would Israel be better off without the illusion that the Egyptians like us, with the Sinai, and without (as R’ Kahane warned, the most dangerous thing) the first opening to recognition of the Palestinians that Camp Sinai brought? Maybe, maybe not, but perhaps our “joy” should be tempered.”

  18. When did academic freedom become so sacrosanct? The bottom line is that YU is a business. If a baseball team invited Carter to throw out the first pitch and the fans went crazy like YU’s alumni I’m pretty sure that invitation would get cancelled. YU has no holy obligation to uphold a student’s right to honor a bad guy, in fact I’m not even sure how that falls under academic freedom. What exactly is academic about it?

    True, other universities can get away with this stuff, but that is because they appeal to a broad array of people. YU’s undergraduate programs, meaning their customers, by and in large share the same basic beliefs. One of which happens to be ‘don’t honor Jew-hating, Israel bashing people’. Furthermore YU is supported by donors who also happen to share that belief.

    If you alienate your core audience, and you upset your customer base to defend a “right” that is not essential to your business, you’re gonna have a hard time keeping the lights on.

  19. I am amazed that Rabbi Broyde writes a piece on this in which he totally, absolutely, and completely misses the main point, and I am equally amazed that not a single commenter has pointed it out. The main issue is not that Carter was invited to speak, although I personally find even that objectionable. No, the main issue that has infuriated so many is that this student-run journal is giving this blatantly anti-semitic clown their Advocate for Peace award. That is why all this jabbering about academic freedom is nonsensical and irrelevant; academic freedom does not require bestowing any award (let alone one so wholly undeserved!) upon an enemy of our people.

  20. By the way, re professors resigning in mass protest: I’ve heard the professors of Cardozo talking among themselves. They already think they work under a theocratic regime (their words), much as that may be hard for those of us who went to YU undergrad (or anyone sensible) to understand.

  21. As long as Carter is understood to be speaking because he is “against the grain” of what YU stands for, then all is good. If he is speaking as a person who “shares the values of YU”, then YU and American Jews have severe issues.

  22. Lawrence Kaplan

    yanonymous: YU is a university. Yes, academic freedom is sacrosanct in a university. The fact that it is also a business is irrelevant. Your analogy with a baseball team in absurd. Your referring to academic freedom as “this stuff” is offensive and shows a complete lack of understanding.

    Shaul: You miss the point. Academic freedom also does not require that one invite Carter to speak. Academic freedom–and Prof. Dershowitz agrees with this– does require that if a group of dumb laws school students make an offensive decision either to ask Carter to speak or even to present him with an award, the university not prevent them from doing so.

    That said, I would say that Richard Joel got it about right, not, as my brother said, just right. I would have liked Joel to have clearly stated that he disagrees with the student decision and to have been more critical of Carter. But these are details.

  23. “I am amazed that Rabbi Broyde writes a piece on this in which he totally, absolutely, and completely misses the main point, and I am equally amazed that not a single commenter has pointed it out.”

    I am amazed at the lack of reality in many of the objections to President Joel’s and R. Broyde’s responses. It’s true; Cardozo students don’t have any First Amendment right to invite Carter and honor him — at least not a right that’s actionable. But the ethos of college, and more than that, university campuses, is that the administration doesn’t interfere with what the students do in First Amendment type (I emphasize type) situations. And that’s the situation that has presented itself. The worst thing YU could have done was cancel a student event; the brouhaha would have been deafening and have made Carter a martyr. Sometimes it’s wise to hold your nose (and your mouth).

  24. Are the majority of Cardozo students and board members of this journal Jewish? Orthodox?

    If not, what’s so surprising about their wishing to honor an enemy of the Jewish People? Does the fact that they are in a Jewishly-identified institution add one more tweak for them? Is that surprising?

  25. Also, to yanonymous: The “market” for the graduate schools of YU is very, very different from that of the undergraduate schools. While Cardozo may have more Orthodox Jews, percentage-wise, than most US law schools- even those in Jewish areas, as Cardozo is- they are still a small minority. I’d say only half the student population is even Jewish- a large number, but again, it’s a law school, and in New York- and probably less than 10% is Orthodox. I imagine the Einstein numbers are even more skewed.

  26. If the Cardozo invitation to Jimmy Carter existed in a vacuum, Rabbi Broyde’s supportive arguments may have some resonance. However, since we live in the real world, I find his comments disappointing. The invitation is ill-advised and we should speak out and say so unashamedly.

  27. r’LK,
    That was my feeling as well. The statement (and I admit I have a bias) sounded as if it were manufactured with a desire to “triangulate” and say as little as possible (given as both brothers Kaplan point out that the acting would have been worse) rather than make a strongly principled statement. Perhaps I’m also reflecting on PM Thatcher’s ptirah?
    KT

  28. -When Desmond Tutu got the award, Yishai Fleischer and his future wife (both Cardozo students at the time) got permission to demonstrate inside the building. Apparently they yelled “Anti-semite in the building” when he passed by. You can make the experience one Carter will regret.

    -SD: There are definitely Cardozo students who do certain things to poke a finger in the eye of the Orthodox institution whose nature they despise. I remember one who won a few thousand dollars on a game show and used it to buy non-kosher pizza to serve in the building. I also remember the comments on the law journal webpage that reported it: “You see, sonny, most law firms are pretty conservative places- not politically, but temperamentally. Anyplace you apply for a job at is going to Google your name, find this, and decide you’re not worth their while.”

    By the way, Happy birthday, Joseph!

  29. Although this would not solve this very complicated issue completely, perhaps having someone equally prestigious (e.g Alan Dershowitz)give a well publicized speech in YU after Carter receives his honor about what it really means to be an advocate of freedom and peace and why Carter does not actually represent that, would allay some of the fear that this award is YU condoned.

  30. Lawrence Kaplan

    FSG : Good idea–and make sure President Joel introduces Dershowitz!

  31. Thanks, Nachum.

  32. Joel, Your questions are good ones and deserve a separate post and discussion. In my view, students inviting (and even honoring) Carter doesn’t cross any red lines. But I certainly don’t think President Joel should have gotten into “red lines” in his statement, and I would be very interested to know what R. Broyde thinks about “red lines.”

  33. Insecurity leads people to honor the people who don’t like them in the hopes that they’ll start to become more liked.

    Jimmy Carter is a well known anti-semite of the Greek-brand. He doesn’t want to kill all Jews (the

  34. Insecurity leads people to honor the people who don’t like them in the hopes that they’ll start to become more liked.

    Jimmy Carter is a well known anti-semite of the Greek-brand. He doesn’t want to kill all Jews (the Roman-brand) but want them all to convert to give-me give-me liberals and wants Israel turned into another Syria.

  35. If the education there does not somehow overcome the students’ cluelessness about the likes of Jimmy Carter, is it worth all the students’ time and parents’ money?

  36. Excellent response. “Rather, the basic balance of any yeshiva which is a university is that…people are entitled to express their own ideologies and to advocate ideas (both as faculty members and as students) that are contrary to the mission, tone and tenor of the university.”
    As a current student at YU, I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, I think that, too often, contrary voices in YU are shushed.
    Also, thank you so much for being brave enough to say that this is “lechatchilah” and not just “what needs to be done.”

  37. R’ Dan,
    Please see my questions at 10:15 PM and share your thoughts.
    KT

  38. Prof. J Kaplan: I agree that YU did not have to cancel the event, but they could at least have come out criticizing the decision to honor Carter while still upholding their technical right to do so. Free speech cuts both ways! They have a right to invite him, but I also have a right to nonviolently condemn them for doing so. In that sense, I can live with President Joel’s reasonable statement on this, though I wish it had been more condemning of Carter. R. Broyde’s statement, on the other hand, goes farther than Joel’s and seems to uphold this invitation as a good thing “lechatchila”, which really bewilders me.

    To Alan Dershowitz, add now the ADL and Simon Weisenthal Center as also condemning the invitation to Carter: “The students were wrong – they are entitled to be wrong and inappropriate and we are entitled to say that honoring former President Carter is wrong, especially for a Jewish institution…and indeed for any institution”. I completely agree with that sentiment. Don’t cancel the event, OK, but at least condemn it. It’s OK for Jews to have self respect, like any other group!

  39. Academic freedom is indeed a very important aspect of the academic field, but it doesn’t allow for everything to go. For example, very few places would tolerate the honoring of an out and out bigot [especially if he’s a bigot regarding the LGBT issue]. Academic freedom insures that all kinds of views and ridiculous notions can be heard – but it doesn’t [or shouldn’t] allow for the honoring of an outright anti-semite who has jewish blood on his hands [albeit indirectly.] There are enough idiots with strange viewpoints out there to invite and honor that one needn’t turn to someone who’s also an anti-semite [and an influential one too] to fulfill the mandate of academic freedom.

  40. Question to Richard Joel: Yes; Cardozo students have every right to honor a speaker who reflects their values. However, why should YU be funding an institution that does not reflect YU values, nor cultivate them?

  41. Shmilfke, in fairness, the Romans didn’t kill the Jews most of the time.

    Bob Miller, I daresay these are people who picked up their sick attitudes toward Israel before they ever got to law school.

    It would be nice if people would remember that Carter is still very much welcome throughout the Democratic Party. Just sayin’…

  42. ““Had they done so,’ he added, “they would have discovered that Mr Carter has never resolved his conflict with the Jewish state. His serial bias against Israel is well-documented.”

    Jewish or non-Jewish, I think they just don’t care, or, worse, agree.

  43. MY: On further reflection, I too like the ADL’s statement better than President Joel’s, though I still think his is quite reasonable with the right tone and emphasis and deserved support rather than the many venomous comments it engendered on the YU blog. (BTW, I commend YU for allowing those comments to be posted; maybe it really does want to foster a free marketplace of ideas.)

  44. “Cardozo students have every right to honor a speaker who reflects their values. However, why should YU be funding an institution that does not reflect YU values, nor cultivate them?”

    query whether the net cash flow between YU and Cardozo runs in the direction you imply (from YU central to Cardozo) – I suspect the opposite.

  45. ““Cardozo students have every right to honor a speaker who reflects their values. However, why should YU be funding an institution that does not reflect YU values, nor cultivate them?””

    but this does rais r. joel’s question above- why have professional schools, with all their academic freedom and diversity, at all?

  46. r’ emma,
    thanks! I do see a reason for links and joint programs (e.g. cutting edge medical ethics/technology to tie to halacha), and I suspect back in the day getting graduates into med school, but we don’t seem to have suffered greatly for belfer’s closing and I didn’t go into engineering because I would have had to travel to NYU classes etc.

    KT

  47. All I know is that this might be a good idea. Once he opens his mouth and his usual screeds come out, he will expose himself once again as the anti-semite he is.

  48. Would it be too politically incorrect to ask for a list of names of the students who “run” the Cordozo JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION who invited Pres. Jimmy Carter to speak and receive its Advocate For Peace Award? I personally would appreciate knowing who these individuals are so I can follow their future careers following graduation from Cordozo Law School.

  49. As a YU and CSL grad, I find the invitation and award appalling, especially given the criticism of Carter’s stances on Israel over the years.

  50. Lawrence Kaplan

    JW: Your comment is, to say the very least, in exceptionally poor taste. I hope Gil deletes it. You probably think how clever your comment is, but it is stupid and childish. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  51. He called the entire Jewish state an apartheid state—- enough said

  52. “Jimmy Carter also forced banks to loan money to “politically correct” minorities, even when those minorities did not demonstrate their ability to repay those loans. This unwise policy contributed greatly towards the mortgage and banking crisis of a few years ago, which caused such massive economic problems.”

    This has been debunked repeatedly. Independent mortgage lenders who were not covered by the law made far more bad loans. And the crash occurred over 27 years after Carter left office. That is like blaming William Howard Taft for the Great Depression.

    Carter has been a rasha since he left office (he was not one as President) but limit the criticisms to things he is actually responsible for.

  53. ” why there is a need for YU to have graduate level programs in Law and Medicine rather than an affiliation with some other university’s program?”

    I don’t know anything about Cardozo, but there are few places that Orthodox Jews can attend medical school and have a kosher cafeteria, never have to worry about classes on Shabat or holidays, and have a strong Orthodox student community with a rabbi, many shiurim and minyanim, and a few faculty like me as well. That may not be a “need” but it is certainly a benefit. And we do some pretty good research, too.

    “perhaps spome specific examples of what is feared?”

    I’m not sure that it is possible to run a medical school today according to halachah. Any rabbis care to chime in?

    But if any rabbinic authority interfered with anything taught in a medical school class or rotation, or any research being done, the institution’s accreditation would be history. As would the entire faculty.

    My opinion expressed here is my own and does not necessarily reflect that of my employer, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, where I am a Professor.

  54. Emory, Atlanta, and Carter receive Arab money. And not a word in Rabbi Broyde’s article about Carter’s anti-Israel record! He’s only the “former President”. I’m baffled why an orthodox rabbi would contribute such an article on this subject. But here, its really Emory Law School Professor Broyde who is doing the writing. A tiny group of 20-somethings, bestowing this pseudo “award”, do not deserve this continued attention – also receiving two articles in the NY Times. The good question is, why did Carter accept the “award” from the law students? To stick a thumb in the eye of the orthodox Jews? More face time in the media? I agree, this is a time to hold noses, and move on. The Richard Joel statement was adequate, and I say that as a CSL graduate.

  55. Does anybody know what actually happened yesterday?

  56. And what’s with the misplaced, condescending swipe at Cardozo? Prof. Broyde apparently overlooked the July 2012 list of Top Law School Faculties in Scholarship. Cardozo was tied for 24th, and Emory was 26.

  57. I’ll wait for them to post my comment there, but essentially, R’ Adlerstein is completely ignoring a big point, namely, that New York State has extreme anti-religious education laws dating back to 19th century nativist anti-Irish Catholicism. He could have found that out instead of jumping on the bandwagon.

  58. The anti-religious education laws even exclude the religious schools from child protection laws – and for that, I filed a lawsuit against the NYS Legislature. We’ll see what happens.

  59. Lawrence Kaplan

    Eliot Pasik: I do not agree with R. Adlerstein, but it is unfair to call his criticism gleeful.

  60. Lawrence Kaplan: Its too big of a stretch. Vicarious liability has its limits. You can’t sue the American League if you fall in the Yankee Stadium bathroom. According to R Adlerstein, first, a law school law review binds the law school. Next the law school binds the university. He even writes, “the sellout by the YU Board”. This is very irresponsible – he doesn’t know whether the YU Board met on this issue. He’s guessing.

    And from there, he flies to Israel, making ill-fitting comparisons to the crisis among the Chareidim there.

    When a situation is so irrational, there are other forces at work. Reading between the lines, I see someone trying to burnish his chareidi credentials. R Adlerstein was publicly criticized by R Shimshon Sherer at the last Agudath Israel Convention.

  61. A, The Beacon. I was suspicious of that rag from the moment it began, and it’s never disappointed.

  62. . R Adlerstein was publicly criticized by R Shimshon Sherer at the last Agudath Israel Convention.
    ==============================
    For what?
    KT

  63. “R’ Adlerstein is completely ignoring a big point, namely, that New York State has extreme anti-religious education laws dating back to 19th century nativist anti-Irish Catholicism.”

    Nahum: Can you explain how these laws are at all pertinent to the issue? My understanding is that they have to do with public funding of elementary and high school education (not allowed under NY law, or in fact the laws of many states). YU is a private (albeit non-sectarian) university. What do these laws have to do with anything?

  64. IMHO the Carter thing is not the issue, the issue is how you view engagement with secular studies. Prohibited?, then there’s nothing to discuss. After the fact? then just go to Brooklyn College or Hopkins and let them and the individual student find a modus vivendi. Integral to Yiddishkeit? then wrestle with do you need graduate schools and what trade offs in micro halacha are made for meta issues (similar to whether you allow adoption in the face of yichud issues)

    kt

  65. Well, Tal, apparently YU’s lawyers felt, in 1970, that they applied to universities as well. Obviously RIETS doesn’t get any government funding.

  66. Nahum, those laws are federal laws, not NY laws.

    R. Adlerstein’s post raises the point of how do the Catholic schools, and the few Evangelical schools, manage? Do they too separate the secular and theological parts, or do they have some other formula? And what govt. funds are not available — only research funds? What about student loans? My impression (although it has been a while) is that those are available regardless.

  67. Shortly after the murder of Leiby Kletzky, R Adlerstein wrote a column saying, when it comes to abuse, call the cops, not your rabbi. R Shimshon Sherer, a Brooklyn rav, and son of the Aguda leader R Moshe Sherer, publicly criticized this article at the November 2011 Aguda Convention.

    You Tube has 2 parts.

    Here is part I, as R Sherer is flanked by Aguda Moetzes leaders R Feldman and R Perlow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UAFgUKwkrI

    And here is Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eev33ZyRkhA

    I think, not sure, that the criticism comes in Part I.

    The money quote is when R Sherer says: Obedience to Daas Torah is divinely ordained.

  68. At the end of the day, does anyone seriously think that YU could have seriously considered vetoing a student-selected award to a former President of the United States of America irrespective of the legal flexibility it may have to do so.

    And if he is the anti-Semite so many think that he is, he must be laughing at the internecine discord he has unleashed just by showing up.

  69. “At the end of the day, does anyone seriously think that YU could have seriously considered vetoing a student-selected award to a former President of the United States of America irrespective of the legal flexibility it may have to do so.”

    Exactly.

  70. Personally, I think YU is far too cautious on many cases relating to religious education and the like, but I also feel that they didn’t have much choice here.

  71. Lawrence Kaplan

    Elliot Pasik: I said I disagreed with R. Adlerstein [=A]. Indeed, I have written a number of comments here defending YU and Richard Joel. I asked where was the “glee” in his aritcle. You did not respond to that question, but did say that A. is trying to burnish his Haredi credentials. This is nonsense. A. is supposedly responding to an attack that took place almost a year and a half ago! And how does he burnish his credentials? What did he say? That the positions of both the Haredi world and YU are morally indefensible, that both have sold out principles for money, but the Haredi position may be– note “may be”– marginally better. Wow! A great way to burnish his Haredi credentials. I’m sure R. Sherer is welcoming back with open arms.

    Moreover, if you have read any of A.’s recent posts, say his recent moderate response to the new draft proposals, his response to Ruth Calderone’s speech, and others, you would realize that your whole claim is absurd. If anything the opposite is true. One one could say with perhaps more plausibility that A.’s attack on YU was a cover for his continuing criticism of the Haredi community.

    I must say that in your recent comments on various blogs, you have tended to over-personalize and demean those wit(h) whom you have disagreed.

  72. Isn’t it odd that there’s no Torah in the article at all? This is an article by Michael Broyde, Esq., who seems to believe that we must be chasidim of academe. I would have preferred an article by Rabbi Michael Broyde, talmid chochom.

  73. R’ Adlerstein is completely ignoring a big point, namely, that New York State has extreme anti-religious education laws dating back to 19th century nativist anti-Irish Catholicism.

    From what I hear, most states have/had laws that prohibited teaching religion in schools, but allowed students to read the Bible. Which happens to be convenient for the Protestants, whose religion calls for people to read the Bible without outside mediation.

  74. Shlomo: That’s different- the Federal Supreme Court saying you couldn’t pray in class. This is a matter of funding.

  75. Some provocative excerpts from the R Adlerstein article, with my comments:

    “Concerning those who strengthen Carter’s hand, the Torah’s words (Shemos 5:21) state its condemnation with stinging clarity: ‘You have made our scent abhorrent…to place a sword in their hands to murder us.'” At a minimum, R Adlerstein is referring to the YU law students here, and by extension, as he later makes clear, to YU as a whole. Not nice.

    “The Cardozo students could have been told that the law school could not adequately provide for the security needs of such an event, forcing the students to seek a different venue, off-campus….Why did we not see more pushback from the administration against this event?” Now R Adlerstein is proposing that YU tell a lie.

    Why must divisions of YU be fastidiously secular? I have taught in two law schools, both Christian. Loyola’s Christianity is all but invisible. Pepperdine’s, however, is very much in evidence – and it is of a right-leaning, evangelical kind of Christian flavor….If this compromises Federal funding (I don’t know if this is the case), the church faithful make up the difference, because they are attracted to support their kind of school. Why doesn’t YU act the way so many church schools do?….Today they aided and abetted the enemy.” This tired old argument has been debated for decades, and is being trotted out again, while R Adlerstein admits “I don’t know” any of the facts about federal funding. And from one Pepperdine, we go to “many church schools”. Well, if you don’t know the facts, you’re supposed to keep quiet. And more overheated rhetoric – aiding and abetting the enemy. Also, my hunch is that Fordham Law and Georgetown Law are run like Cardozo Law.

    “Why have they acted this way?….The answer, of course, is money – and prestige”. Another below the belt punch.

    “(T)the same attitude operates just as well in the Modern Orthodox world. It sacrificed ideals for dollars, principle for prestige.” The ref needs to call foul – all this because some yingeles gave an “award” to someone who happens to be a former President.

    “Either both sets of behavior – the sellout by the YU board, and the tunnel vision of Israeli charedim – are defensible, or neither is. (My leanings are to the latter.)” Now, with no proof, only speculation, the whole YU board is implicated – good, charitable human beings who built this outstanding institution.

    “It could even be argued that the charedi position is the more defensible one. Charedim are so committed to the values of limud Torah, that nothing else seems to count. They will sacrifice other values for a single, quintessential one. The sacrifice at YU is not, it would seem, for an all-important value, but for the well-being of a single institution.” Here, he is saying that YU is not committed to limud Torah because the law students gave this “award” to former President Carter. Meshuggah.

    “We could summarize the last paragraphs by saying that people who live in cash houses shouldn’t throw stones at charedim!” How clever.

    I have more to say, but I don’t want to sound like a meanie.

  76. Broyde seems to take the position that YU both “celebrates and takes seriously” its obligation to thrive as a “free marketplace of ideas.” However, how does one truly interpret and apply such an open ended standard? Does Broyde truly maintain that no university be required to maintain any objective standard of what is “appropriate” to be presented on campus? Would Broyde feel the same way if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be speaking at a Cardozo event on dispute resolution? How about Casey Anthony to come to Cardozo and speak about media relations in criminal trials?

    Indeed, just because someone has/had a voice outside of the context of a university, doesn’t mean that any all academic institutions owe to its students at the level of lechatchila, as Broyde maintains, to present this to its students. At some level, any speaker that comes on a particular campus, even if invited by a student run group, provides any element of respect (or worse, reverence, support and appreciation) to said individual. Ultimately, how can Broyde just assume that CSL and YU do not, in the very least, condone Carter’s clear anti Israel stance??

    I’m quite glad to know that Michael Broyde will continue to be donating money to YU (in fact, I heard he may be giving even more…goody), I’m sure it will make up for the hundreds of alum, and likely large benefactors, who will no longer be so inclined to give. For myself, as a Cardozo alum, this certainly has cooled me off in wanting to donate.

  77. Oops. I missed the hint from Lawrence Kaplan:

    “I must say that in your recent comments on various blogs, you have tended to over-personalize and demean those wit(h) whom you have disagreed.”

    I accept the mussar, even though my recollection is Ms. Wit tossed the first dart. And she scores points for being a nurse, doing God’s work. Nevertheless – MBP – very bad. It delegitimatizes Torah Judaism.

  78. You can take screenshots but I can see IP addresses and I know that the comment from yesterday morning was NOT by the person under discussion.

  79. Again, I ask people not to rush on this subject. I still have to figure out how to address it properly.

  80. Glad to hear it.

  81. Anonymous: For that matter, I know you have posted here under multiple pseudonyms. There is a reason that people in our community do that.

  82. Can any one report on the contents of Pres. Jimmy Carter’s speech at YU?
    Can any one report on how the speech was received?
    Was there any kind of confrontation or was it all sweetness and derech eretz?
    Nevertheless,the tumah with which YU has been contaminated by the physical presence of Pres. Jimmy Carter will never be completely removed.

  83. Regarding the regulation of education in NY State:

    New York is unique in that all institutions of postsecondary education, even those not receiving direct governmental funding, are regulated by the state. This is not a new situation — it dates all the way back to 1784. Every degree program at every institution, public, private, even for-profit — has to be approved by the state. I’ve seen the guidelines for advanced degrees and the approval is not merely pro-forma.

    One side effect of this is that unlike most of the rest of the US, for-profit educational institutions in NY actually provide a decent education. You can’t create a diploma mill here.

    This doesn’t directly address the influence of religion (or lack thereof) but discrimination on the basis of “race, color,
    weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex” is expressly prohibited in all NY institutions of higher education. (There is a single exception for single sex colleges.)

  84. My rule is to comment under my own name and I have violated that maybe a dozen times ever, generally by accident.

  85. Does Yeshiva University have ANY redlines to its “FREE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS.”
    The hiding behind free expression does not excuse poor judgment.
    Jimmy Carter is being HONORED.
    There is no allowance for free discussion of his ideas at this
    meeting.

  86. lawrence kaplan

    Elliot Pasik: As I said, I disagree with R. Adlerstein’s post and agree with many of your substantive criticisms. All I took issue with was your detecting a gleeful tone in his post and your saying he wrote it to burnish his Haredi image.

    As for Nurse Wit, I am glad you caught my allusion to ypour exchange with her on Emes ve-Emunah. It seemed to me your darts were more poisonous than hers. And you sometimes ssemed to forget you are both on the same side– the right side– with respect to MBP.

  87. Sammy Zimmerman

    In light of recent findings, the comment above by R Hershel Goldwasser is tragic.
    As far as the Carter invitation goes- it reminds me of the Gemara in Moed Katan about the orthopedist who breaks a patient’s leg in order to heal it. A journal of Conflict Resolution creating quite a conflict in and of itself
    For that matter, my first comment is even more relevant. sadly

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