Opinion: Why CUNY Needs to Address its Jewish Invisibility Problem
New York City is home to a thriving Jewish community. However, despite the significant number of Jews in the city and state, CUNY, one of the most prominent public universities in the city, has a Jewish invisibility problem. The university’s senior leadership positions are devoid of even a single Jewish person. This article discusses the failure of CUNY to recognize its Jewish students and faculty, and advocates for a change in attitude towards this community.
CUNY’s Jewish Invisibility Problem:
With over 1.6 million Jewish adherents in 2022, New York City has the second-largest population of Jews in America. Yet, CUNY appears to have no Jewish representation on its website or in its senior leadership positions. The lack of representation has resulted in a Jewish invisibility problem. The website displays a photo of the chancellor surrounded by eleven young people, of which only one appears to be caucasian, and none of them appear to be Jewish. CUNY’s commitment to equity seems to have excluded Jewish students and faculty.
Furthermore, CUNY has not addressed its serious antisemitism issue. In 2020, students published a series of blatantly antisemitic tweets, and despite the university’s promise to punish the offending students, the university has failed to act. Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez failed to attend a City Council hearing on antisemitism. Without strong condemnation and action against such conduct, CUNY has failed to provide a supportive environment for Jewish students and staff.
Modern Technology Making People Dumber:
In recent years, people have become overly reliant on technology, leading to troubling concerns. Today, people tend to consult their phones, computers, and tablets for even the most straightforward tasks that were once done instinctively. This increasing reliance on technology is making people dumber in everyday life and work habits.
The new generation, in particular, relies too heavily on technology to solve their problems, leading to a significant decline in their thought processes. With everyone looking down at their phones while walking, driving, biking, and skating, our society is becoming less social and engaged with the world around it. If we don’t unplug and start using our brains critically again, we risk the potential for a generation of individuals who are incapable of navigating the world without technology.
The Killing of Innocent Animals in No-Kill Shelters:
No-kill shelters, where animals are still euthanized, have become a significant concern. These shelters promise not to kill animals that come under their care but end up doing so anyway. For instance, eighty dogs were killed in a single day at one no-kill shelter, which is a cause for serious concern.
This situation can be attributed to several factors, such as inadequate funding, space, and staff. However, whatever the reasons, it is unacceptable to kill animals in no-kill shelters. People who surrender their pets have the expectation that they will be cared for, or at the least, given a humane death, which is not happening at no-kill shelters.
– CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez failed to attend a City Council hearing on antisemitism in May 2021.
– The Jewish population of New York City in 2016 was 1.75 million. The number has increased in the past six years.
– No-kill shelters routinely euthanize animals due to inadequate funds, space, and staff.
CUNY needs to take decisive action to address its Jewish invisibility problem and ensure that these students and faculty receive equal treatment and opportunities. The use of modern technology needs to be moderated, and individuals need to unplug to reconnect with the world. Finally, no-kill shelters need to become more transparent, truthful, and humane in their treatment of animals.
CUNY’s Jewish invisibility problem needs to be addressed. While technology has made life more comfortable and convenient, it has also propped up a generation of people who are overly reliant on it and disconnected from the world around them. Finally, it is time for no-kill shelters to stop killing animals and become a more honest and humane option for those who surrender their pets. By addressing these concerns, society may move closer to becoming a more just and compassionate one.