By: Undersigned Faculty  | 

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

We the undersigned are extremely disturbed that on the night of Monday December 5, during a talk hosted by a Yeshiva University student group, Ben Shapiro mocked transgender people-- and drew applause and laughter from a packed audience in Lamport Auditorium. Shapiro is not an expert on transgender experience or mental health, and his opinion does not reflect the current understanding of these very serious issues, in which people’s lives are literally at stake. Public humiliation of others has no place at any university, much less one whose motto includes the word Torah. We are surprised that we need to remind this university community that Jewish tradition condemns the derision of another human being. Moreover, while we encourage our students to seek out diverse opinions, we also hope they would stand up against discrimination and disrespect.

As university faculty, we are committed to protecting the dignity and the safety of all—and to speaking out when the vulnerable among us are threatened. We call on the University administration to join us in our condemnation of this behavior.


Silke Aisenbrey, Sociology
Jamie Aroosi, Political Science
Barbara Blatner, English
Anna Lisa Cohen, Psychology
Gabriel Cwilich, Physics
Jonathan Dauber, Jewish Studies
Steven Fine, Jewish Studies
Lauren Fitzgerald, English
Jeff Freedman, History
Paula Geyh, English
Stephen Glicksman, Psychology
Scott Goldberg, Education (Azrieli Graduate School)
Sumanta Goswami, Biology
Joan Haahr, English (Emerita)
Shalom Holtz, Jewish Studies
Jenny Isaacs, Psychology
Joanne Jacobson, English
Dan Kimmel, Sociology
Aaron Koller, Jewish Studies
David Lavinsky, English
Rachel Mesch, English
Jess Olson, Jewish Studies
Ronnie Perelis, Jewish Studies
Samuel Schneider, Jewish Studies
Liesl Schwabe, English
Josefa Steinhauer, Biology
William Stenhouse, History
Elizabeth Stewart, English