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ACTION ALERT: UCLA Professor: “The damage that Myers caused to Jewish life at UCLA will take many years to erase.”

ACTION ALERT: UCLA Professor: “The damage that Myers caused to Jewish life at UCLA will take many years to erase.”

Action Alert

At the bottom are names of the people and organizations that directly and indirectly
appointed David Myers as the President and CEO of the Center for Jewish History


[NOTE: Any or all of the following may be published, provided that a link to this post and credit is given to The Israel Group.]

Background

The Center for Jewish History (CJH), located in New York, is considered the largest repository of Jewish history in the United States. Recently, CJH hired Dr. David Myers as its president and CEO. For many years while at UCLA, Myers made his anti-Israel feelings abundantly clear. Through writings and his role as a UCLA professor, he turned a generation of Jews against Israel.

The Israel Group is not opposed to anyone holding anti-Israel views, but should such a person be placed at the helm of one of the largest Jewish museums in the world?

In this case, it took an entire village to make this happen, including approval from the boards of the CJHAmerican Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University, and YIVO.

Following are thoughts on the subject

UCLA professor, a former colleague of Myers, speaks about the irreparable harm caused by Myers at UCLA

The Israel Group was given a direct and anonymous quote from an internationally respected UCLA professor and longtime colleague of David Myers:

“The damage that Myers caused to Jewish life at UCLA will take many years to erase. He undermined systematically any attempt to bring students closer to Israel, and created two bastions of anti-Israel cultures: 1. the Center for Jewish studies, and 2. The history department.

 

He sees his mission as preparing students to stomach the inevitable demise of Israel, rather than preventing it. He is a dangerous person precisely because he can hide behind the title of a history professor and a “Zionist.” His perception of history is agenda driven, and his Zionist title is a deception.

 

If he takes over the Center for Jewish History,  American Jewry should better seek another depository to preserve its heritage. Myers will distort it to fit his agenda. The role of American Jews in the creation of Israel will be minimized and stripped of its heroic legacy. Myers simply does not believe that Israel plays, or should play a central role in Jewish identity. This will be reflected in the character of Jewish history that will be filtered under his leadership. It has happened at UCLA.”

A UCLA alumnus speaks out

I’ve followed Myer’s career for years in Los Angeles at UCLA. You have no idea how many kids he has turned off to Israel and how he espoused his anti-Israel rhetoric at any opportunity. Israel is to blame for everything according to him and he’s dangerous because of his self-proclaimed “love” for the Jewish state.”

Allan Kandel 

Email correspondence with the Center for Jewish History

Following is email correspondence between two pro-Israel activists (Richard Allen, founder of JCCWatch.org, and Dan Friedman) and Jason Guberman-Pfeffer. Guberman-P is the Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation (one of five partnering organizations with the CJH), and one of five people who sit on the Directors’ Council of the CJH.

Sept. 4-2017
From: Dan Friedman (pro-Israel activist)
To: David Rosenberg, CJH’s Senior Manager for Communication

Subject: Fwd: Left-wing Fanatic Takes Helm at Vital Jewish Institution

[This just crossed the wires and landed in my inbox. Why am I not surprised? Virtually all American Jewish organizations today have been commandeered by the anti-Zionist left. Why should this one be any exception? df]

Center For Jewish History New CEO Must Be Fired For Radical Viewpoints

The new CEO of the Center For Jewish History (CJH), David N. Myers is a leader of The New Israel Fund which openly supports a boycott of Israel, and holds leadership positions of If Not Now, When and J Street.  He has extreme viewpoints –  including supporting “some forms” of boycotting Israel, and that Israel should no longer exist as a Jewish state. 

[Full article was enclosed. READ MORE…]

Dan Friedman
NYC


September 5, 2017
From:  Jason Guberman-Pfeffer, Executive Director, American Sephardi Federation
To: Dan Friedman

Dear Dan,

Don’t believe everything you read… The Center is a scholarly institution and has not been captured by the Anti-Zionist left.

Here is our official response to the articles you cite.

Best regards,

Jason

———-

Jason Guberman-P.

Executive Director, American Sephardi Federation
Partner of the landmark Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY., 10011


September 5, 2017
From:  Dan Friedman
To: Jason Guberman-P

Dear Jason,

I never believe anything I read these days. I do my own research before I decide. And lo and behold, a quick search of Google confirmed your new guy is even more of a radical anti-Zionist than the writers describe. But I’ll make an exception with your support of Myers, and take it at face value. Quite obviously you are both birds of a feather. No further proof is needed.

That not withstanding, please allow me one cavil. I never said your “institution” was “captured by the Anti-Zionist left.” On the contrary, I learned a long time ago it was founded and funded by members of the Anti-Zionist left.

Dan Friedman


September 5, 2017
From:  Jason Guberman-Pfeffer
To: Dan Friedman

Dear Dan,

I note by the individuals cc’d on this email that the op-ed did not randomly appear in your inbox.

ASF’s support of David Myers is predicated on our trust in his integrity as a scholar and his commitment on the record to eschew politics in his role as President and CEO of The Center for Jewish History. As noted in our statement, several ASF and Center Board Members profoundly disagree with his personal views. His views are his own, issued in a personal capacity and prior to his coming to The Center.

In terms of ASF, you may want to review our history and see our activities (for example, Mexico & Moral Courage) begore jumping to an unfounded conclusion of where the organization and our constituents stand.

Your clarification is accepted, but your information is incorrect and, in any case, irrelevant. The Center is a place of scholarship, research, and cultural programs, not a political battleground.

Best regards,
Jason


September 5, 2017
From:  Dan Friedman
To: Jason Guberman-P

“The Center is a place of scholarship, research, and cultural programs, not a political battleground.”

Sheer puffery and obfuscation. Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell and Myers’ own UCLA are just a few of today’s hotbeds of Jew-hatred and anti-Zionism that use the same cover as you. Which side of the barricades has your “scholar” been on?

Your mission from the start has been to take the Judaism out of Jewish history. This is the erev rav’s job. From there to David Myers is just a natural progression.

Unless you can perform miracles, you can’t hire half of a man.

DF


September 5, 2017
From:  Richard Allen
To: Jason Guberman-P

Dear Jason,

I am responding directly to you.  I am of Iraqi descent and I appreciate the fine work the ASF has done in preserving our history.  However, your defense of David Meyers seems totally out of context for a Jewish organization.  Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and the right to freely express that opinion or viewpoint.  However, Mr. David Meyers has publicly expressed support for a boycott of Jews.  He has that legal right, however it is beyond acceptability, in my opinion for him to head a Jewish communal organization. Keep in mind, no one challenges the right of Mr. Meyers to express his anti-Israel positions, I do challenge the CJH and the ASF in placing this Israel-Hater as your leader. The support of these anti-Israel viewpoints renders this individual unacceptable to head a broad based Jewish communal organization, especially one that relies on community financial support.  This is no small issue.  I received a call today from a large early financial supporter of yours that is bewildered and hurt at the choice of leadership.  I am sure that you will find this more widespread than you currently realize.

No good will come out of this choice for your CEO and President.  This conscious effort by the ASF and the other organizations housed within the CJH to force upon the Jewish Community a self proclaimed Israel hater will be challenged by the wider Jewish Community in very public ways.  Your effort to Kosher and render acceptable these anti-Israel viewpoints within the Jewish community will be met with broad based resistance. Sadly, you will be harming the ASF as you throw your public support behind David Meyers.

While I am not a biblical scholar, I do remember that financially boycotting a fellow Jew is specifically prohibited in our Torah, as it harms the Jewish community……David Meyers and you have now proven that true.

Sincerely,

Richard Allen


September 5, 2017
From:  Jason Guberman-Pfeffer
To: Richard Allen

Dear Richard,

Thank you for the kind word about ASF and sharing your concerns. In contrast to the 19 other emails received from your cc’d friends or associates (Ronn, Dan, and Hank) this afternoon and evening, your response’s thoughtfulness is appreciated. 

ASF’s statement dealt with the unseemly, BDS-style tactics being employed against David Myers and the principle of a separation between facts and values or professional responsibility and personal viewpoints. Myers is on the record eschewing politics (See: Steve Lipman’s interview “New Chapter for Jewish History Center,” NY Jewish Week, 13 June 2017) and we have every reason to take him at his word.  It is wrong to imply, no less predict as Mr. Sheinkopf and Mr. Birnbaum do, that Myers’ personal views will dictate his actions as President & CEO of The Center. This is an argument from bad faith. 

We did not address the substance of Myers’ views except to say that several ASF and Center Board Members profoundly disagree with him, but nevertheless trust his integrity and commitment to serve The Center for Jewish History.

Ronn asked if this tolerance would extend to someone who happened to be a member of the KKK. While the Klan’s ranks do not boast many historians, no less talented scholars of Jewish history, we need not push the point to that absurd extreme. There are obviously intolerable views that would preclude employment (e.g., a pyromaniac makes a poor candidate for the fire department). Thankfully, that is not the case here. 

You write: “Mr. David Meyers has publicly expressed support for a boycott of Jews.” ~ I understand you believe this statement to be true and can point to quotations that seem to support this contention, but it is nevertheless false. The closest Myers comes to this is in a piece replete with condemnations of BDS and which he then concludes by saying *if* several conditions are not met (as determined by whom is unclear) than a limited boycott “of Israel’s settlements and commercial activity in the West Bank [*]may[*] have to be the necessary next step.”  While we are free to disagree with even so ambiguous and hedged and tentative a statement, you may not mischaracterize it as an endorsement of BDS. Elsewhere he has written definitively: “I oppose the global BDS movement.”

“Mr. Meyers to express his anti-Israel positions” ~ By this do you mean Myers’ proposed partnership between The Center for Jewish History and the National Library of Israel? Dan sent an email a short while ago with the subject “Allahu Akbar!” apparently reacting to Ronn’s bolding of part of what Myers said about the partnership in an earlier email: “‘When the library is completed, it’ll be a remarkable repository of the riches of Jewish history, as well as Islamic history and culture.'” Not sure why Dan would be bothered by this statement or why Ronn thinks it helpful to his cause. On the contrary, this is clear example of Myers rejecting BDS, in letter and spirit, by creating greater and more fruitful connections between The Center, the world’s preeminent library and archive of the Jewish People in the modern era, and one of Israel’s premier scholarly institutions. 

It is hardly shocking, moreover, that the National Library of Israel would be a rich repository of Islamic history and culture. As an Iraqi Jew, perhaps you can educate Dan and Ronn, about the monumental contributions of Jews to Islam and Muslim Lands. Indeed, Nessim Joseph Dawood, A”H, a Jewish Baghdadi, is the author of the most popular Qur’annic translation into English. 

“a self proclaimed Israel hater” ~ We have yet to see the quotation in which Myers does any such thing. Even Exhibit A of his supposed support for a boycott betrays a fundamentally Zionist perspective, albeit one that is left-of-center.

We could go on, but probably only for ever-diminishing returns. ASF has no intention of giving hate a hescher. Similarly, we feel the Biblical imperative not to stand idly by while the reputation of a new and promising colleague and that of this vital institution are under attack. I suggest your friends or colleagues consider taking Dan’s perhaps half-serious advice to abandon what “was an amateurish PR mistake to raise this issue over the Labor Day weekend. Terrible timing” and instead engage in a dialogue with David and the Partners for the good of the issues you care about and for the community at large. 

Thank you,
Jason


September 5, 2017
From:  Richard Allen
To: Jason Guberman-P

Jason,

Disappointedly, by your own email, you are severely naive.  The fact that David Meyers is actively involved in leadership positions with anti-Israel and BDS supporters; JStreet, New Israel Fund and “if not now”, precludes him from holding any communal Jewish leadership position. Electing him the President & CEO of the Center for Jewish History is gross malfeasance.

Your dance around serious complaints only exposes you at best as an apologist for this Israel hater and supporter of the enemies of Israel. Perhaps your love of Jewish-Arab culture has blinded you to the realities we face as Jews.  My grandfather was slaughtered in Baghdad for being a Jew.  Your new leader gives oxygen to the descendants of the murderers in their quest to eliminate the Jews from Israel.

Supporting David Meyers and giving him a platform to legitimize his BDS views will bring earth shattering negatives to CJH and ASF. Ongoing  public protests will occur at your doorstep. Koshering the BDS movement by promoting David Meyers as your CEO and President will bring you the just distain of the Jewish Community; to you, your institution and your Board.

As one of the organizers of the rallies at the Metropolitan Opera to protest the Klinghoffer opera production; I assure you this issue is just getting started.

You will find no favor or support among the Jewish Community.  You have now made yourself married to your leader and his active promotion and support of anti-Israel BDS activities.

Your explanation dance falls short…you now own it.

Richard Allen


Action Alert

Following is a list of people and organizations that either directly or indirectly allowed Dr. David Myers to become the President and CEO of The Center for Jewish History. If you are opposed to Dr. Myers’s appointment and you know any of the following people, or support any of these organizations, please reach out and get involved immediately.

The Center for Jewish History’s BOD

Bruce Slovin, Co-Chair & Founder
Ira H. Jolles, Co-Chair
Martin Karlinsky, Secretary
Sidney Lapidus, Treasurer

Michael A. Bamberger
Norman Belmonte
Tracey Berkowitz
Alex Blavatnik
Leonard Blavatnik
Bernard Blum
Elisheva Carlebach
David E.R. Dangoor
Martin Flumenbaum
Amy Goldman Fowler
David Friedman
Douglas Greenberg
Joseph Greenberger
Michael Jesselson
Stanley N. Katz
Steven J. Kumble
Ruth Levine
Joel R. Marcus
Bernard Michael
Theodore N. Mirvis
Irene Pletka
Robert S. Rifkind
Ronald B. Sobel
Michele Cohn Tocci
Simon Ziff

The Directors’ Council: Executive Directors of Partners of the Center for Jewish History

American Jewish Historical Society
Rachel Lithgow, Executive Director

American Sephardi Federation
Jason Guberman. Executive Director

Leo Baeck Institute
William Weitzer, Executive Director

Yeshiva University Museum
Jacob Wisse, Director

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Jonathan Brent, Executive Director

American Jewish Historical Society Board of Directors

Kenneth J. Bialkin*
Lila Corwin Berman
Ronald C. Curhan
Deborah Dash Moore
Scott D. Einhorn
George M. Garfunkel
Paul J. Issac
Michael G. Jesselson
Samuel R. Karetsky
Joshua H. Landes
Sidney Lapidus*
Shari Levy
Bernard J. Michael
Jeffrey Oppenheim, MD
Nancy T. Polevoy
Louise P. Rosenfeld
Bruce Slovin
Joseph S. Steinberg
Morton M. Steinberg
Ronald S. Tauber
Paul B. Warhit
David Weinberg
Justin L. Wyner*
Hedy Zankel
Laurence Zuckerman

Leo Baeck Institute Board of Trustees

Officers

Ronald B. Sobel, President
Michael A. Bamberger, Vice President
David W. Detjen, Vice President
Amy Houston, Treasurer
Dennis Baum, Secretary

Trustees

Bernard Blum
James Dreyfus
Werner Gundersheimer
Michael G. Jesselson
Josef Joffe
Ira H. Jolles
Nicole Reinsberg Kubin
Joan C. Lessing
Ralph E. Loewenberg
Abraham F. Lowenthal
Michael A. Meyer
Robert S. Rifkind
Elliot G. Sander
Marian Scheuer Sofaer
Raymond V.J. Schrag
David J. Sorkin

Trustees Emeriti:

Eva Brunner Cohn
Henry L. Feingold
Jehuda Reinharz
Guy Stern

 

YIVO Board of Directors

Chair: 
Ruth Levine

Vice Chair:
Irene Pletka

Edward Blank
Noah Feldman
Martin Flumenbaum
Fanya Gottesfeld Heller
Emil Kleinhaus
Joshua Lachter
Chava Lapin
Leo Melamed
Jacob Morowitz
Elisa New
Stuart Schear
Bruce Slovin (Chairman Emeritus)
Michael H. Traison
Michael Trock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Sephardi Federation Board of Directors

Mike M. Nassimi, Chairman
Rabbi Elie Abadie, M.D.
Isaac Assael
Carole Basri, Esq.*
Norman Belmonte*
Carlos Benaim*
Norman Benzaquen
Abraham E. Cohen
Grace Cohen
Isaac Dabah
David E. R. Dangoor*
Martin Elias
Jamil Ezra*
Murray Farash*
Rafael Fouzailoff
Eli Gabay
Jane Gerber, Ph.D.*
Joseph Greenberger
Marc Gueron
Oded Halahmy
Joe Halio, M.D.
Raquel Benatar Laredo*
David F. Lavipour*
Stella Levi
Leon L. Levy
Joel Marcus, Esq.*
Alan Matarasso, M.D.
Mike M. Nassimi*
David Ribacoff*
Salomon R. Sassoon*
Theodore Serure
Jacob Shakarchy
Jonathan Sharbani*
Robert Y. Shasha*
Bruce Slovin*
Anwar Suleiman
Florence A. Tatistcheff*
Nina Weiner
Norris Wolf
Gwen Zuares*

Regional Representation
Max Candiotty, CA
Mitch Julis, CA
Jose Nessim, CA
Gwen Zuares, DC
Armando Franco, FL
Isaac Ben Ezra, FL
Solomon Garazi, FL
Jose Ojalvo, FL
Serge Otmezguine, FL
Michael Azose, IL
Sol Hasson, IL
Deanna Pool, MO
Lewis Berry, PA
Leon L. Levy, PA
Janice Halfon, WA


Advisory Board
Jane Gerber, Chair
Rabbi Marc D. Angel
Gloria Ascher
Solomon Asser
Margalit Bejarano
David Bensoussan
Aviva Ben-Ur
Steven Bowman
Marc R. Cohen
Ronald Florence
Henry Green
Helene Schwartz Kenvin
Sandra Malamed
Edgar Nathan
Joshua Plaut
Aron Rodrigue
Joseph R. Safra
Daniel Schroeter
Maurice Shohet
Sarah Abrevaya Stein
Norman A. Stillman
Salomon Vaz Dias

Yeshiva Univesity Board of Trustees

Chairman
Moshael  J. Straus

Chairmen Emeriti
David S. Gottesman
Robert M. Beren
Morry J. Weiss
Dr. Henry Kressel

Vice Chairmen

Ludwig Bravmann
Mordecai D. Katz
Ira M. Mitzner
Philip Friedman

Treasurer
Michael Jesselson

Trustees
Naomi Azrieli
Jack A. Belz
Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman
Julius Berman
Marvin S. Bienenfeld
Marjorie Diener Blenden
Sender Z. Cohen
Michael Gamson
Elliot Gibber
Dr. Felix L. Glaubach
Alan E. Goldberg
Fanya Gottesfeld Heller
Andrew Herenstein
Laizer Kornwasser
Ira A. Lipman
Matthew J. Maryles
Joshua L. Muss
J. Philip Rosen
Dr. Lewis Rubin
David P. Samson
Jay Schottenstein
Joel M. Schreiber
Daniel A. Schwartz
Irwin Shapiro
Mark Silber
Mark Wilf
Zygmunt Wilf
Shira Yoshor

Honorary Trustees
S. Daniel Abraham
Hal H. Beretz
J. Morton Davis
Aaron Feuerstein
Gerald Furst
Joseph Segal
Jay H. Zises

Trustees Emeriti
Dr. Jayne G. Beker
David Eshaghian
Jack M. Nagel

Presidents Emeriti
Richard M. Joel
Dr. Norman Lamm