Harvard’s president has vowed that she’s committed to tackling antisemitism on campus, telling Jewish students that she created an advisory board to combat hate following the student groups’ anti-Israel letter and anti-Jewish incidents on campus.
Harvard President Claudine Gay has assembled a group of advisors to help eradicate antisemitism from the campus community, she recently told hundreds of Jewish students, parents, staff, alumni and faculty at Harvard Hillel.
This step from Gay comes in the wake of the bombshell student group letter that blamed Israel for Hamas’ terrorist attacks earlier this month. Gay had told the campus community that she wouldn’t discipline students for their views on Israel.
The divided campus has been embroiled in controversy for weeks, while Jewish students have reported being threatened and targeted.
“I want to acknowledge the profound toll this has taken, especially on our Jewish students, faculty, and staff,” Gay said at Harvard Hillel’s Shabbat Dinner on Friday. “Your grief, fear, and anger are heard and felt deeply.
“As we grapple with this resurgence of bigotry, I want to make one thing absolutely clear: Antisemitism has no place at Harvard,” she added. “As President, I am committed to tackling this pernicious hatred with the urgency it demands. Antisemitism has a very long and shameful history at Harvard. For years, this University has done too little to confront its continuing presence. No longer.”
Her group of advisors to combat antisemitism includes faculty, staff, alumni and religious leaders from the Jewish community.
The advisors will work on creating an agenda and strategy for tackling antisemitism on campus, she said.
“They will help us to think expansively and concretely about all the ways that antisemitism shows up on our campus and in our campus culture,” Gay said.
“They will help us to identify all the places — from our orientations and trainings to how we teach — where we can intervene to disrupt and dismantle this ideology, and where we can educate our community so that they can recognize and confront antisemitism wherever they see it,” she added.
Meanwhile, Harvard has created a task force to support students who have been “doxxed” following the anti-Israel letter.
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Following Gay’s remarks on Friday, Harvard Hillel applauded the president — calling her speech “a promising first step in a process that will undoubtedly take significant effort and a united front from our Harvard community, and we look forward to working with President Gay and the university administration with a common resolve to tackle Harvard’s antisemitism problem.”