Holding Antisemites Accountable.

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Elite NYC Private School Drowning in Antisemitic Hate Claims

Jewish parents of students at an elite New York private school are fuming over what they say is growing anti-Semitism on campus and a failure on the part of the administration to call it out, according to an article published Wednesday.

The outraged parents at the $52,993-a-year Fieldston School in Riverdale told Tablet Magazine they’ve experienced growing bias since 2015, and that none of the incidents were properly addressed by school leadership.

“The school has a problem saying the words Jewish or Jew,” one parent told the magazine. “And calling out hate against this community.”

Parents traced back the problems to the 2015 launch of the school’s Affinity Group program, which gathers students in third through fifth grades by shared racial or ethnic identity. Parents can also chose to place their kids in a general discussion group, open to students of all backgrounds.

At the time, parents asked for a Jewish affinity group but were denied, leaving them “aghast,” one parent said according to the report.

Jewish students said fellow classmates met their concerns about anti-Semitism by telling them they should be considered white and privileged and therefore could not be victims of discrimination.

That same year, swastikas reportedly began appearing in the halls and classrooms.

School leadership responded with a presentation to students that apparently didn’t include mention of how the symbol was used in “relation to the slaughter of millions of Jews,” according to one parent.

Facing outrage, the school sent out a letter that identified the swastika “as a hateful symbol of the Nazi genocide, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, fascism, and the destruction of European Jewry and other victims of the Nazi regime.”

Some parents said the school didn’t appear to respond to incidents of anti-Semitism the way they did with incidents of other bias or prejudice.

The response fit a pattern of “sincere if limited efforts to address it, or pro-forma apologies, or simply indifference,” one faculty member said.

The tension between Jewish parents and the administration exploded last month when an invited speaker appeared to equate Holocaust survivors and their Nazi oppressors, the article said.

“The [Nazi] attacks are a shameful part of history, but in some ways it reflects the fluidity between those who are victims becoming perpetrators,” Columbia University Law School adjunct Kayum Ahmed told about 500 high school students Nov. 21, according to the report.

“I use the same example in talking about the Holocaust. That Jews who suffered in the Holocaust and established the State of Israel today — they perpetuate violence against Palestinians that [is] unthinkable,” Ahmed said.

Several students and parents were shocked at the remarks — and outraged at the school’s lack of what they saw as an appropriate response, according to the magazine.

Administrators waited until the Wednesday after Thanksgiving to issue a statement, the article detailed.

“We are taking the opportunity brought by this incident not to discuss this particular speaker or his words, but to reaffirm our institution’s firmly held values,” wrote Head of School Jessica Bagby in a letter obtained by the magazine.

“We are taking the opportunity brought by this incident not to discuss this particular speaker or his words, but to reaffirm our institution’s firmly held values.”

Some parents said they thought the letter “was worse than doing nothing.”

“It was simply a ‘f–k you,’ and entirely infuriating,” one parent said.

Another parent said they immediately began looking for a different school.

Source: https://nypost.com/2019/12/18/elite-new-york-private-school-rocked-by-anti-semitism-allegations-report/