Lipstadt in ‘NYT’: “For Jews, Going to Services Is an Act of Courage”

Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, recently published a piece in The New York Times. In the guest essay Lipstadt addresses increasing anti-Semitic violence in the United States, including at synagogues such as the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, where a gunman took three hostages last month. Read an excerpt from Lipstadt’s piece below along with the full article: “For Jews, Going to Services Is an Act of Courage.”

I have not walked through the main entrance to my synagogue since October 2018, after the shootings at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue. For over three years now, that door has remained locked. When I asked why, I was told, “It’s too wide open; it can’t be made secure.” I understood. You won’t find wide-open doors at any synagogue in Europe or North America. It is only after you get past the guards that you find welcome, though welcome is still there for those who seek it.

“It is not just the large synagogues that fear for security. I hear from students that they think twice about going to Hillel services, the campus Jewish chaplaincy. Some out of fear for physical safety. Some out of worry about the slings and barbs that might come from other students in the dorm. I met parents whose child had been accepted to a very selective college. He wears a kipa and was struggling with whether to replace it for the next four years with a baseball cap. Increasingly I hear: Jews are contemplating going underground.

We are shaken. We are not OK. But we will bounce back. We are resilient because we cannot afford not to be. That resiliency is part of the Jewish DNA. Without it, we would have disappeared centuries ago. We refuse to go away. But we are exhausted.

Anderson Appears on MSNBC’s ‘Ayman’ and ‘All In With Chris Hayes’

Dr. Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African-American Studies and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently a guest on two MSNBC programs. Anderson discussed contemporary politics, including on issues relating to voting rights, in historical perspective on the shows ‘Ayman’ and ‘All In With Chris Hayes.’ She is author, most recently, of The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Bloomsbury, 2021). Watch the MSNBC segments featuring Anderson here: ‘Ayman‘ and ‘All In With Chris Hayes.’