The unrest at Rutgers and on college campuses across the country since October 7 has been a cause of great distress and concern at the Bildner Center and in the Department of Jewish Studies. As a major hub of Jewish life and learning on campus and for the community, we seek to combat the extreme polarization and divisiveness that can lead to violence against both Jews and Muslims.

The recent student protest was very upsetting, and we all had questions about the negotiations and decisions involved in seeking a resolution. We recognize President Holloway's goals in making safety and stability paramount and coming to a peaceful resolution, enabling final exams and graduation ceremonies to be held. His Statement to the Board of Governors can be read here. Chancellor Francine Conway's statements to the university community can be read here.

As an academic unit at Rutgers, the Bildner Center is committed to the educational ideals of thoughtful and nuanced discussion of complex problems and strives to create a safe intellectual environment for the entire Rutgers community as well as for its diverse public. Professors in the Department of Jewish Studies have worked tirelessly to make themselves available to students during this tumultuous time, offering weekly forums for dialogue.

Our faculty and staff have been in communication with top Rutgers administration throughout the year and over the past two weeks. We are firmly committed to ensuring that antisemitism is recognized and combated at the highest levels at Rutgers University. In addition, it is critically important that Jewish voices are an integral part of the university’s ongoing conversation about diversity, equity, and cultural inclusivity.

We acknowledge that there is still much work to do. We will continue to work with the administration and will be a part of the ongoing conversation across the university.

   May 13, 2024