Beren Faculty Responds to Ben Shapiro

By:  |  December 25, 2016

To the Editor:

We the undersigned are extremely disturbed that on the night of Monday December 5, during a talk hosted by a Yeshiva University student group, Ben Shapiro mocked transgender people– and drew applause and laughter from a packed audience in Lamport Auditorium. Shapiro is not an expert on transgender experience or mental health, and his opinion does not reflect the current understanding of these very serious issues, in which people’s lives are literally at stake. Public humiliation of others has no place at any university, much less one whose motto includes the word Torah. We are surprised that we need to remind this university community that Jewish tradition condemns the derision of another human being. Moreover, while we encourage our students to seek out diverse opinions, we also hope they would stand up against discrimination and disrespect.

As university faculty, we are committed to protecting the dignity and the safety of all—and to speaking out when the vulnerable among us are threatened. We call on the University administration to join us in our condemnation of this behavior.


Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, English

Douglas Burgess, History

Stanley Dorn, Music

Roberta Rosenberg Farber, Sociology

Jeffrey Freedman, History

David Glaser, Music

Chaya Gorsetman, Education

Gina Grimaldi, English

Joy Ladin, English

Alison Matika, English

Matt Miller, English

Evan A. Mintzer, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Nora Nachumi, English

Seamus O’Malley, English

Ann Peters, English

Sara Pool, Beren Writing Center

Alexander Rysdon-Moulitsas, Fine Arts

Margaret Samu, Art History

Linda Shires, English

Sierra Tavasolian, Beren Writing Center

Mimi Weinberg, Art History

Marcia Young, Music

Marnin Young, Art History