A group of professors at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College (KCC) reportedly schemed to leave out an Orthodox Jewish professor from a meeting by scheduling it late on a Friday, according to a lengthy report obtained by The New York Post.
The March 2018 meeting was reportedly organized by the Progressive Faculty Caucus to address discrimination against LGBT members on campus. Professor Jeffrey Lax, who is dean of KCC’s business department, says his colleagues wanted to keep him out of the discussion by scheduling the meeting during the Sabbath. The meeting reportedly never took place because of such complaints.
According to the Post, Lax has been an ardent supporter of the LGBT community and holds progressive ideals. Moreover, Lax’s complaint was also backed by three witnesses.
One witness said the previously scheduled meeting was “intended to be discriminatory against [Lax] because he would `bash’ the PFC every time he showed up to an event,” according to The Post.
Another witness reportedly said that “left wing people didn’t like [Lax] because he was pro-Trump, pro-Israel, he’s a Zionist, conservative American.”
“The PFC was concerned that if the Friday night meeting happened at a time that [Lax] could attend, that he would `show up’, dominate the meeting, basically record the meeting ….he would take the names of people who were alleging discrimination and he would be a chilling effect.”
The report concluded, “Allegations that respondents discriminated against them based on their religion can be substantiated in part…Observance of the Jewish Sabbath was at least part of the reason for the PFC to schedule a meeting on a Friday night.”
This incident isn’t the first time there’s been allegations of antisemitism in the CUNY system.
“From Sheepshead Bay to Hunter to CUNY Law, the entire CUNY system is so broken and antisemitic it needs to be completely revamped (from top management down),” StopAntisemitism.org’s Director Liora Rez told TheDarkWire.com Wednesday.
Rez added, “Until this is done, all federal funding needs to be halted. The environment has now become unsafe for Jewish students and faculty.”
The KCC President Dr. Claudia V. Schrader’s office didn’t respond to this reporter’s request for comment.
In February 2019, The Jewish Journal reported that the school was “embroiled in Anti-semitic allegations” as Jewish and pro-Israel professors were being discriminated against.
In 2016, Lax sued the school, alleging the existence of a “pervasively hostile work environment” for “outward Jews,” according to the Journal. Although CUNY’s chancellor demanded an independent investigation to look into the many complaints, Kingsborough remained untouched.
In the end, the report concluded, “The picture that has emerged is not one of unchecked anti-Semitism, far from it, but it is hardly perfect.”
There were many serious instances in the CUNY system in which Jewish students said they felt uncomfortable that were detailed in the earlier report.
Further, groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) were time and time again calling for the destruction of the Jewish State and hosted events that demonized Israel. For example, SJP hosted an “Israel Apartheid Week” and promoted the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement which has been deemed antisemitic by the U.S. State Department.
Still, professors like Michael Goldstein were coming forward and sharing personal experiences as victims of antisemitism on the Kingsborough Campus,
In February 2019, Goldstein wrote in the NY DAILYNEWS that he had been battling a “campaign” of such hate on campus. In one of the most outward incidents, antisemites defaced a photograph of his father, Leon Goldstein, who built the institution’s campus.
“The vandals defaced a photo of my father with anti-Semitic graffiti, including the words ‘F–k Trump Goldstein, Kill the Zionist Entity,'” Goldstein wrote. “I later learned the incident came one day after Kingsborough Professor Katia Perea apparently told an administrator who refused her request to fire me, ‘I guess I will have to handle this myself.’
Perea was reportedly an active member of the Progressive Faculty Caucus at the time.
Following the incident, over 1,000 flyers were reportedly posted across the KCC campus, calling for Goldstein’s firing and alleging he’s racist, sexist, and anti-Muslim. Goldstein denies such claims and defends that he’s impartial the classroom.