Greetings to the Schechter Institute community,
As you know, the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies has always been committed to dialogue grounded in listening to, and mutual respect of the other. Throughout the years, the Schechter Institute has facilitated interactions between students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and has refrained from taking a public stance on controversial political topics.
We have felt that it is inappropriate, in a pluralistic academic institution such as ours, in which the faculty and administration are composed of people with diverse political opinions, for the institution to involve itself in contested political issues. We believe that the academy should facilitate discussion and dialogue and create a space in which students of varying opinions can feel comfortable.
Alongside this, I feel that I cannot ignore the critical crisis in which Israeli society finds itself, a crisis that undermines our collective foundation. I therefore call on the political leadership of the State of Israel to initiate a process of dialogue based on mutual respect, devoid of any incitement or extreme utterances.
I call for every effort to be made to achieve wide agreement on the basis of the president’s outline for action and the foundational principles of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. I urge that an agreement be established based on checks and balances between the different branches of government, care for individual and minority rights and the maintaining of the independence of our academic and cultural institutions.
Professor Ari Ackerman
President, Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies