How to Fight ANTI-SEMITISM on Campus

Ze'ev Maghen

Mon Jan 01 1990

Dear Jewish Student:

To say this essay caused a stir at Columbia University would be quite an understatement. Never in our years at college have we seen so many people in so many different places and contexts discussing and debating the issues raised by a single piece of literature. It has dramatically changed the way many students think, inspired large numbers of unaffiliated Jews to get in touch with their Jewishness, and, most importantly, it has galvanized us, turning passivists into activists and activists in new directions.

The starting point for the essay is an event which occurred on our campus-a lecture delivered by a City University professor of African studies to whom a number of anti-Semitic slurs have been attributed- but we think its message is for all of us, so we've decided to share it with all of you. Many of you may be deeply involved in Jewish practice and activism, others more peripherally so or not at all-in each case we feel this article speaks to you. The positions expressed in its pages are "controversial," that is, they are not the current conventional ones. They will make some of you mad, some of you delighted, and, we expect, leave none of you indifferent. Here's hoping it sets you on fire as it did us!

How to Fight ANTI-SEMITISM on Campus