Today, many college campuses are experiencing a rise of antisemitism and prejudice. Often these incidents are linked to attacks on Israel and its very right to exist. In this discourse, historical events are often shrouded by dogma; events are presented through the lens of ideology. Universities that should be home to balanced discussions of the Middle East have too often failed to encourage open dialogue and analysis. As a result, college students risk graduating without a true understanding of the complex nature of the region. As these individuals become the next generation of political and business leaders, the misconceptions they hold may have a lasting effect on the future of the United States and the Middle East.
The School of Liberal Arts hosted two regional “cocktails and conversation” events in New Orleans and Chicago to discuss ongoing efforts to build awareness and support for a Modern Israeli Society Chair in Jewish Studies. Led by the School of Liberal Arts Dean, Carole Haber, guests discussed how this eminent faculty member will attract both students and scholars to Tulane University who wish to explore Israeli history and culture as well as engage in open discussion about its role in the world.
"It is vital for all students to have an understanding of the facts and talking points needed to combat misperceptions and barriers. An endowed chair in Modern Israeli Society will ensure that Tulane students, our future leaders, have access to the broadest scope of tools available to both understand and defend against efforts to misrepresent the complex situation in the Middle East."- Julie Silbert (NC '80, L '84)