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Orthodox Jews Appear to Accept the Apology of Brandeis President

By 07/06/2023 8:53 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


The president of Brandeis University, Ronald D. Liebowitz, sent an email to a student organization called the Brandeis Orthodox Organization on June 30—nearly a week after a contentious Brandeis University advertisement that many perceived as being disrespectful of Orthodox Judaism appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

I am aware that a recent advertisement in the New York Times insulted certain members of the Brandeis Orthodox Jewish community, Liebowitz wrote.

“First and foremost, I would like to express my regret for any offense. Let me reassure you that neither Brandeis nor the advertising firm intended to imply that Orthodox Jews are not supported and welcomed in this country.

Liebowitz stated that he met with the student group and with Hillel leaders that week.

“I want to be clear that Brandeis is proud of its vibrant Orthodox community,” he added.

“We are grateful to you for the substance and vibrancy you bring to campus; it is integral to the fabric of Jewish life at the university.”

The broader advertisement campaign was intended to “highlight Brandeis’ Jewish roots and values,” Liebowitz added.

Clearly, the execution of this ad missed the mark.” He concluded by “again offering my apologies.”

“I believe the matter is closed, and the apology was accepted by the Brandeis Orthodox community,” Meshulam Ungar, a rising senior and former vice president of the Brandeis Orthodox Organization, told JNS.

Ungar told JNS that Liebowitz’s letter to Brandeis’ Orthodox community has “heartened” him.

“I think the email was appropriate in terms of both tone and content. This apology is a perfect example of why Brandeis is still the best secular university in the United States for Orthodox students to enroll in, he said.

We can work with our leadership to sustain and enhance the Brandeis Orthodox community if they sincerely apologize to us.

The president of Brandeis Hillel’s student board and a rising senior, Eitan Marks, told JNS that he is appreciative of the “kind letter and apology.”

According to Eitan Marks, president of Brandeis Hillel’s student board and a rising senior, he is appreciative of the “kind letter and apology.

“How great of a home Brandeis is and will continue to be for Jewish students,” he added.

The fact that the Brandeis administration was willing to listen to and work with Jewish student leaders shows how great Brandeis is and will continue to be for Jewish students.” (He spoke for himself and not the student board.)

Although the ad was sloppy, and it is surprising nobody reviewed it before publication,” Joseph Landes, one of the founding members of the Brandeis Orthodox Organization and the Brandeis beit midrash, tweeted that he was pleased to read the president’s apologies. Landes said, “He is widely respected and works hard for the university.


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