Harvard Co-Chair Suddenly Resigns

(RepublicanJournal.org) – In December 2023, Harvard University found itself in the spotlight over its then-president’s comments on antisemitism. In response to the scandal, the college set up a special task force to combat the problem on its campus. Just weeks later, the co-chair of that task force resigned after allegedly complaining the group wasn’t actually doing anything.

In January, weeks after disgraced university president Claudine Gay sparked a firestorm of protest over her weakness in the face of anti-Jewish prejudice, Harvard set up the Presidential Task Force on Combating Antisemitism. To lead it they appointed professors Raffaela Sadun and Derek Penslar.

However, on February 26, the Harvard Crimson, the college’s in-house newspaper, reported that Sadun was stepping down. In a statement, she thanked interim president Alan Garber for “the opportunity to help advance the vital work to combat antisemitism,” but said she wanted to return to focusing on her research and teaching at Harvard Business School. She will be replaced by law professor Jared Ellias.

That might not be the full story, though. Sources close to Sadun say she wasn’t happy with how the task force was operating. Sadun wanted the university to commit to carrying out the group’s recommendations; Harvard wanted to treat them as optional advice. According to the college’s Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi, Sadun quickly became frustrated with the way Harvard and the task force were dragging their feet over taking real action on antisemitism.

Harvard seems to be struggling to deal with antisemitism. In December, days after Gay’s disastrous appearance before Congress on December 5, Rabbi David Wolpe resigned from the school’s antisemitism advisory group after less than two months on the job. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) he said he “cannot make the sort of difference I had hoped.”

Now Sadun has also stepped down, and apparently, she doesn’t feel like she can make a difference either. It almost looks like Harvard is more interested in being seen to be doing something than in getting it done.

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