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Yale University (archives) Photo: AP
Yale University (archives) Photo: AP

Yale starts program to study anti-Semitism

Ivy League college in New Haven launches new initiative after decision to cancel earlier groundbreaking program sparked criticism

Associated Press
Published: 06.26.11, 07:28 / Israel Jewish Scene

Yale University is starting another initiative to study anti-Semitism after a decision to cancel an earlier groundbreaking program sparked criticism.


The Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism was announced last week. The Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism was discontinued this month after a faculty review committee concluded it did not meet the university's standards for research and teaching.


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The earlier program, created in 2006, was hailed as the first university-based center in North America dedicated to the study of anti-Semitism.


Yale said when the earlier program was canceled that the university hoped to support scholarship and teaching on the topic and a group of faculty came forward to propose a program.


The Anti-Defamation League, which has criticized Yale for canceling the program, welcomed the new program. Its national director, Abraham Foxman, said the earlier decision "leaves the impression that the anti-Jewish forces in the world achieved a significant victory."


Foxman said the ADL was disappointed Charles Small, who founded the original program, will not play a role in the new initiative.


"We are satisfied that Yale University understood the critical importance of continuing an institute for the study and research of anti-Semitism," Foxman said in a statement.


The new program will be led by Yale professor Maurice Samuels, who said Yale has some of the leading scholars in the world working on anti-Semitism and interfaith relations. He said his group would focus on contemporary and historical anti-Semitism.


"Like many, I am concerned by the recent upsurge in violence against Jews around the world and I plan to have YPSA to address these concerns," Samuels said. "I also believe that we benefit a great deal by placing current events into historical context. YPSA will not refrain from exploring any controversial contemporary topic."


Yale officials said they hope the new initiative will produce major scholarship on anti-Semitism.



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