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Harvard alumni claim school ‘has lost its way,’ pledge only $1 donations for foreseeable future


Marya Ruth Dunning, Article

After drawing criticism from Jewish alumni, Harvard University has made the decision to focus more on including Jewish students in its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs.

After Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, over 30 Harvard student groups issued a statement blaming Israel for the attack. Since then, alumni and donors have withdrawn their donations.

On Nov. 4, Harvard alumnus and Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman posted his letter to Harvard President Claudine Gay on X. In the message, he condemned not only the statement by the student groups but also the rise of anti-Semitism on campus.

“Never did I think I would have to write a letter to the president of my alma mater about the impact of her actions and inactions on the health and safety of its student body in order to help catalyze necessary change,” the letter read.

[RELATED: Yet another billionaire donor demands UPenn fix its anti-Semitism problem]

“For the past four weeks since the horrors of October 7th, I have been in dialogue with members of the corporation board, other alumni, as well as students and faculty sharing and comparing our concerns about the growing number of antisemitic incidents on campus, as we wait for you and the University to act,” the letter continued.

“Four weeks after the barbaric terrorist acts of October 7th, I have lost confidence that you and the University will do what is required,” Ackman wrote.

In addition, other donors have pledged to “donate one dollar, and no more, to the University for the foreseeable future —not in anger, but in sadness and in hope.”

“Harvard’s response to the Hamas terrorist attacks of October 7th revealed that the University has lost its way,” the pledge read. “Many questions of right and wrong are hard. But some are easy. Raping women is evil. Torturing and murdering children is evil. Filming those heinous acts to glorify the perpetrators, humiliate the victims, and bring further pain to the families of those harmed is evil.”

[RELATED: Ivy League’s new anti-Semitism task forces mimic earlier effort to help pro-Hamas students]

“It should not require three statements (the latter two following a faculty protest) for this University and its leadership to condemn these evils. Still more, University leaders, while giving proper due to the demands of free speech and robust debate, should have the moral courage to tell their students who support evil that those students are wrong.”

In response, Gay released a statement that said that Harvard was “committed to doing the hard work to address this scourge” of anti-Semitism.

”The Office for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging has convened several community support sessions over the past month in collaboration with Harvard Hillel and Counseling and Mental Health Services, and a newly formed Inclusion and Belonging Student Leadership Council has broad representation, including from the Jewish community,” Gay’s plan stipulates.

”In addition, we have been working to increase education around antisemitism and Jewish history—the Harvard Heritage Month workgroup voted unanimously this year to include both Holocaust Remembrance Day and Jewish American Heritage Month observations as part of the official University-wide calendar,” she added.

The statement also reassured the Harvard community that police would investigate anti-Semitic threats, including those made online.

Campus Reform has reached out to President Gay, Harvard, the Antisemitism Advisory Group, and Ackman for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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