Yale Pulls the Plug on Anti-Semitism Institute

Anti-Defamation League is upset about the decision.

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    Yale University has discontinued its institute dedicated to the study of anti-semitism.

    The Anti-Defamation League is balking at Yale’s decision to eliminate its course of study on anti-semitism. 

    A faculty review committee said the 5-year-old Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism did not meet its standards on research and teaching, the New Haven Register reports,

    This was the first university-based study of anti-Semitism in the United States.

    The national director of the ADL said that, whatever the problems were, Yale should have tried to fix them, rather than shut down the program.

    “Especially at a time when anti-Semitism continues to be virulent and anti-Israel parties treat any effort to address issues relating to anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism as illegitimate, Yale’s decision is particularly unfortunate and dismaying,” Abrahma Foxman said in a statement.

    “This is a big deal and a major travesty,” Ken Marcus, director of the Initiative to Combat Anti- Semitism and Anti-Israelism in America’s Educational Systems at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, told the Jerusalem Post. “YIISA was the most important university-based anti-Semitism research institution in North America. The decision to close it was clearly political, and it smells very bad. I hope it gets wide attention.”

    Political Science professor Donald Green told the Register that all programs are reviewed after five years on how well they promote interdisciplinary research and instruction at Yale.

    “Little scholarly work appeared in top-tier journals in behavioral science, comparative politics, or history. Courses created in this area did not attract large numbers of students,” Green said.

    Yale spokesman Tom Conroy told the Associated Press that the university has been a leader in Judaic studies and that the provost has told faculty he will support working groups studying anti-Semitism.