Before I began college I expected Columbia University to be a safe space where I could grow intellectually without facing anti-Semitic rhetoric. I was wrong. Oppression and silencing of the Jewish people occurs at Columbia University: the safety of the Jewish population here is constantly threatened, our well-being is limited, and our academic experience is inhibited by oppressors.
Jewish establishments on campus are strategically influenced by this systematic anti-Semitism. Kosher-keeping Jews are forced to eat in the basement of Hewitt, while the oppressors dine in luxury on the third floor of Lerner Hall. In this way the system cages the Jews. I want to escape, but am unable.
I expect to see segregational oppression in dining establishments, but I do not expect the intrinsic oppression that exists in the intellectual community at Columbia University. The oppressors do not realize the volatility of the Core Curriculum and the effects that major texts have had on the Jews throughout history.
Contemporary Civilization is an excellent example of this. Only a Jewish professor, whose ancestors may have had the same experiences as mine, perhaps at the same camp, can provide me with the intellectual experience that I deserve. Only a Jewish professor can teach the Jews critical texts in a way that doesn’t entirely disregard their effects on the Jews. In presenting the New Testament as a peaceful philosophical text, professors disregard the slaughter of millions of Jews throughout history.
A student can major in American Studies, African-American Studies, Latino Studies, East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, but not in Jewish Studies. This is demonstrative of the anti-Jewish nature of this institution that silences Jewish voices and strategically limits access to Jewish knowledge, thereby preventing Jews from accessing freedom. Jews.
My argument is rooted in my pain and it is with great sorrow that I mourn the systematic oppression of the Jewish people at this academic institution. This cannot continue.
The solution to the oppression of the Jews at Columbia is unclear but, like the problem itself, must be systemic. The Jews are exhausted; we have little fight left in us. It’s time the oppressors wake and it’s time for them to begin to fix this miserable institution.