In the Wake of Anti-Semitism, A Silence to be Broken


Columbia Spectator

Tue Nov 06 2018

I am a Jew, but I wouldn’t say I have a strong connection to Jewish life on campus. I have only been to Columbia/Barnard Hillel a few times, and I cannot say I have ever felt a pull or desire to return. I would not say this distance is uncomfortable; however, following the Tree of Life shooting, I’ve seen how insufficient the support for Jewish students beyond Jewish life has been on campus.

I have been shocked by the many ways Barnard and Columbia have failed in their response to the shooting. Columbia’s initial failure to mention the inherent anti-Semitism of the shooting in their email statement coupled with Barnard SGA’s late reworking of a denouncement of anti-Semitism inspires a discomforting sense of dismissal.

This dismissal failed to address or attempt to alleviate the pain and fear felt by Jewish students immediately following the tragedy. The lack of support from the rest of the campus community hit hard....

...It is the silence that taught me they don’t care. We don’t matter. Our religion—my identity, my family, our history—is simply a confusing inconvenience to them. This silence has always been scary. No—terrifying. And now, in the wake of a horrible event of anti-Semitism I am stifled by this silence once again. After so many years of silence, I assumed I would have left it behind in Winston. Yet, in response to this tragedy, I am disappointed to feel the silence again as both the Columbia and Barnard administration and the general student body have failed to properly address the Jewish community....

... If we were to experience another Holocaust tomorrow who could we trust? In a time such as now, this silence proves a discomforting answer to the question....

In the Wake of Anti-Semitism, A Silence to be Broken