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