Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Shuttered Yale Center’s Director Studying anti-Semitism in New Ways

May 1, 2012 8:42 am 0 comments

Pictured here speaking at a recent 92nd Street Y event in New York, Dr. Charles Small, former director of the Yale University center on anti-Semitism (closed by the school in 2011), is building a new institute dedicated to the study of contemporary anti-Semitism. Photo: Maxine Dovere.

NEW YORK—Once director of the shuttered Yale Interdisciplinary Initiative for the Study of anti-Semitism (YIISA), Dr. Charles Small hasn’t abandoned his academic mission of exposing the crisis of silence surrounding contemporary Jew-hatred.

During a recent presentation at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Small recounted the measures and methodology used by Yale to eliminate YIISA last year as well as his development of a new academic research program called the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy (ISGAP).

Calling anti-Semitism “a 21st-century relevant issue,” Small said the program Yale substituted for YIISA examines “past, rather than present and future, anti-Semitism”— a tactic that effectively ignores the threat of “contemporary radical Islamist anti-Semitism.” He believes Yale is failing in its responsibilities to study the current threats to Israel and the Jewish people, terming it “an urgent threat, not only to the Jewish people, but to democratic values and principles.”

While Yale had cited the YIISA’s work as “racist,” Small says the university was—and is—unwilling to “engage in a comprehensive examination of the current crisis facing living Jews,” looking only at history. He says the criticism of YIISA by “post-modernists” significantly influenced Yale’s decision to close the center.

The academic institution Small is building is based in New York City and is dedicated to the study of contemporary anti-Semitism. He says Yale “underestimated the reaction” to the closure of YIISA, which had a faculty of 14 and was actively running academic conferences and studies. The final seminar held at YIISA studied the Muslim Brotherhood, and a Yale investigatory committee confiscated some of YIISA’s materials—including a film from that final seminar. The opportunity for an outside, independent review of YIISA was denied.

“Our ignorance and arrogance is absurd,” warns Small. “If you care about anti-Semitism in the contemporary setting, read about the world view of the Jews and Zionism held by the Muslim Brotherhood.” Small ponders how heavily funders influenced Yale’s actions, asking: “Why is there no center on anti-Semitism at any Ivy League University? Why is there pressure to change history and universalize the Holocaust?” He challenges the “globalization” fostered by neo-liberalism and radical Islam and asks whether the West “is acquiescing for a quick buck.”

Small is concerned about how Jewish youths at universities defend themselves against anti-Jewish and anti-Israel bias and outright anti-Semitism, calling their lack of preparedness “abysmal.”

“Young people are not getting a good Jewish education,” he says, noting that disliking Israel has become “cool.” Youths must know facts such as that the Hamas charter is based on the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

“Where is the human rights movement?” he asks. “Where is the Jewish community, when Iran is calling for the annihilation of six million Jews?”

Small says, “The role of a true scholar and intellectual is to shed light where there is darkness.” At YIISA, he says he had “engaged in scholarship with a broader approach to the complex, and at times controversial context of contemporary global anti-Semitism.”

At ISGAP, Small plans “to do high-caliber research… and have an effect on politics—not as advocates, but as creators of findings and information.”

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Relationships US & Canada Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    An analysis of New York Times wedding announcements showed that women married in Jewish ceremonies were less likely to take their husband’s last names than those married in Roman Catholic ceremonies, the Times reported on Saturday. The largest gap between the two groups was in 1995 when 66 percent of Catholic women took their husband’s names and 33 percent of Jewish women did the same. Nearly half of the women featured in the publication’s wedding pages since 1985 took their husband’s name after marriage, while about […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    JNS.org – Through appreciation of both his comedy and humanitarian work, legendary Jewish entertainer Jerry Lewis is staying relevant at age 89. The only comic to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Lewis added another award to his trophy case in April, when he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Gordon Smith, NAB’s president and CEO, said the organization was “honored to recognize not only [Lewis’s] comedic innovation, but also his remarkable […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli athletes marked a successful day on Sunday, as gymnasts won multiple bronze and silver medals in the 2015 European Games in Baku. The Gymnastics team won two silver medals and one bronze in group events, while Neta Rivkin, an Israeli Olympic gymnast, won bronze for the Solo Hoops event. Sunday’s gymnastics wins follow Sergey Richter’s bronze on June 16 for the Men’s 10 meter air-rifle, and Ilana Kratysh’s silver for women’s freestyle wrestling. The 2015 European Games in Baku are […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Russian-American Jews are some of the most successful ballroom dancing competitors in the U.S., South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) Radio reported on Thursday. Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University, said their success can be traced back to Jewish discrimination in the former Soviet Union. Because of the prejudice they faced, Russian Jews had to perform better than their peers in every field, including dancing, in order to have a chance of getting ahead. “They knew that if they […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    An Israeli dancer made use of Jewish props in an extraordinary routine that left judges amazed when he auditioned for season 12 of TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance on Monday. At first, the panel of judges appeared confused when Asaf Goren, 23, began his audition in Los Angeles with a tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and the blowing of a shofar, which he explained “opens the sky” for people’s prayers. However, as soon as he started his “Hebrew breaking” performance, […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    Jewish Hoops Fairytale Falls Short as David Blatt’s Cavaliers Drop Game 6

    JNS.org – A fairytale ending to Jewish basketball coach David Blatt’s first season in the National Basketball Association (NBA) was not meant to be, as the Blatt-led Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night dropped Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors, 105-97, to lose the best-of-seven series 4-2. Blatt, who just last year coached Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv franchise to a European basketball championship, failed to finish a second straight hoops season on top. But after the Cavaliers began the NBA […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israelis Venture to Cleveland for NBA Finals

    Israelis Venture to Cleveland for NBA Finals

    JNS.org – The people who sat in seats one and two of row 12, section 120 at Quicken Loans Arena during Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night weren’t your ordinary Cleveland Cavaliers fans. Tomer Hulli and his father, Eli, made the trip from Israel to attend games 3 and 4 in Cleveland. Tomer, who lives in Tzur Moshe, a 25-minute drive north of Tel Aviv, has been playing basketball since he was 5. Hulli said he didn’t plan this […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israel Bon Jovi Signs Contract to Perform in Israel

    Bon Jovi Signs Contract to Perform in Israel

    JNS.org – The American rock band Bon Jovi signed a contract in Germany that officially commits it to perform in Israel on Oct. 3, the concert’s producers announced at a press conference. The move marks the latest defeat for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement activists seeking to convince musicians not to perform in the Jewish state. Bon Jovi’s performance in Israel for the final show of its Asian concert tour is the result of an effort by Guy Besser and Shay Mor Yosef of BlueStone Productions, in cooperation with promoter Marcel […]

    Read more →