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The Dartmouth
May 27, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Letter to the Editor: Statement From Dartmouth’s Jewish Organizations

The presidents of Chabad and Hillel share concern for student safety and campus discourse in the wake of the May 1 protest and arrests.

We, the presidents of Chabad and Hillel, on behalf of our respective organizations, join in expressing our concern over the state of student safety and balanced discourse at Dartmouth. 

In light of the harm experienced by Dartmouth’s Jewish and Muslim communities, we regret that the events of May 1 regressed so needlessly into chaos. Assuming that meaningful dialogue and peace abroad are the aspirations of all parties involved, our Jewish organizations at Dartmouth join with all students who have expressed alarm at the withering of campus discourse.

Chabad and Hillel have been immensely grateful for the administration’s effective handling of this crisis in the months following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel. While many of its peer institutions have been disgraced by incidents of blatant antisemitism, violent confrontation and investigations by civil rights groups and Congressional committees, Dartmouth has been commended nationwide for its commitment to respectful dialogue. The Jewish community has been an integral part of that commitment — from hosting speaker events, Bring-a-Friend Shabbats and panels in conjunction with our colleagues in the Middle Eastern studies program, to sitting down with leaders in Al-Nur and the Palestine Solidarity Coalition to discuss our respective viewpoints. Unlike many of our friends and family elsewhere, Jewish students have felt predominantly safe at Dartmouth.

It is for this reason that the events of May 1 — and its aftermath — have been so shocking. The suffering endured by those arrested on the Green has been acknowledged by almost all relevant campus groups; however, we have yet to hear from any of our colleagues in Dartmouth Student Government or club leadership, nor from faculty, sufficient recognition of the facts that:

  • Hundreds of protesters bellowed phrases considered hate speech by Jewish organizations and Congress.
  • Many Jewish students have expressed feeling unsafe or unwelcome on Dartmouth’s campus during and after the protests.
  • Individuals demonstrating their support for Israel were accosted at the protests and online.
  • Leaders of campus organizations have been threatened for voicing their stances on the arrests.
  • There have been several reports of faculty or teaching assistants using language hurtful to Jews, or attempting to force anti-Israel or anti-administration beliefs upon students.

While Dartmouth’s Jewish organizations are incredibly diverse both in our religious beliefs and our opinions on the Israel-Hamas war, we are united in our distress for student safety and liberty of discourse on campus. Just as we have over the past several months, we will continue to assist the current administration in its dedication to community health and dialogue to build upon the progress we have worked so hard to attain.

Cara Marantz ’25 is the President of Hillel and Mia Steinberg ’25 is the President of Chabad. Letters to the Editor represent the views of their author(s), which are not necessarily those of The Dartmouth.