Thursday, Oct 27, 2022
Dear students, faculty and staff,
It is disturbing that antisemitism is present worldwide and growing in recent years. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in the U.S. last year with more than 2,000 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported. Most recently, we have watched with alarm the antisemitic statements made by Ye, the rapper and celebrity formerly known as Kanye West.
Appalling in their own right, such statements inflict unnecessary pain and grief on Jewish communities, families and individuals. They also fuel hatred, perpetuate violence and stereotypes, and instigate attacks.
We condemn such language and ideas without exception. They have no place in any civil society and certainly not within our living and learning community, which uplifts and values our Jewish students, alumni, faculty and staff and the many contributions they regularly make to the University and to the world.
Rider has long been proud to support individuals and organizations on campus that celebrate Jewish identity, faith and heritage and seek to educate on the atrocities against Jewish people the world has experienced. Since 1984, the Julius and Dorothy Koppelman Holocaust/Genocide Resource Center at Rider University has helped raise awareness about the events surrounding the Holocaust through annual lectures, interfaith commemorations and much more. For years, Hillel, the University’s student-run Jewish organization, has created a campus community for students through social, religious, and cultural events for students who identify as Jewish, and other members of the campus community.
Coming together to learn and grow without bias, while centering the humanity and value of each person inclusive of all of their identities — that’s the spirit of inclusive excellence we are striving to sustain here, and we all have a role to play in achieving that goal.
Today, technology has enabled each of us, from the powerful to the powerless, to have a voice and a platform. We all must make choices about how we use that platform. We can elevate one another with truth and hope, or grind each other down with untruths and hatred. With our words and our actions, each of us chooses to bring forth light or spread darkness. In a moment when a loud and influential public voice has chosen darkness, let’s recommit ourselves to making the right choice.
Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D.
Barbara J. Lawrence
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator