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Jews at Williams

circuitridercircuitrider 4275 replies189 threads Senior Member
edited November 2013 in Williams College
That's the title of a new book written by Benjamin Aldes Wurgraft. I found the remarks at the book signing very interesting:
To Wurgaft, one of the most important eras in Jewish history at the College was the 1980s.
?Jews at Williams? documents minority struggle at College ? The Williams Record
edited November 2013
4 replies
Post edited by circuitrider on
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Replies to: Jews at Williams

  • FoxboroPiperFoxboroPiper 80 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Interesting. I'm on campus and I didn't even hear of this, even from my friends involved in the Jewish Association.... I wish I did....

    I'm paid to do historical research for the town and College, and it's odd to me that challenges Jews faced at Williams are simply generalized here as minority struggle. Black students at Williams have a very different history with regard to minority status; even more different (and nonintuitive) would be the minority status of Catholics, to name only two examples. These stories are always about changes in an endlessly complicated web of power relationships between national fraternities, the College admissions, trustees of the College, student culture, etc. Unfortunately, if one were to interpret the relative success of Jewish students who identify with their minority status in changing the norms of a historically (de facto) Congregationalist college to gain social acceptance as success for minorities in general, one would be making a syllogistic fallacy. But at least we can say that Williams today is clearly not the anti-Semitic place it was in the days of the Gentleman's Williams, thank God.

    Also it's just funny to me to think about giving a minority status label to a group of people who (let's get real here) are a smaller population at Williams than they would be otherwise because of affirmative action policies in the admission of racial minorities. Anyway, with my babble aside, I'm certainly looking forward to reading this book!
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  • circuitridercircuitrider 4275 replies189 threads Senior Member
    Also it's just funny to me to think about giving a minority status label to a group of people who (let's get real here) are a smaller population at Williams than they would be otherwise because of affirmative action policies in the admission of racial minorities.

    I'm not sure I'm quite ready to buy into the idea that URMs are battling Jews for the same number of allotted places at historically Christian universities. After all, Williams would not be the first college of its kind to equate greater numbers of Jewish students with greater intellectual achievement:
    In Effort to Lift Their Rankings, Colleges Recruit Jewish Students - WSJ.com
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  • FoxboroPiperFoxboroPiper 80 replies2 threads Junior Member
    That's a good and interesting point, circuitrider. I think my last comment there may have been a little reckless of me. Thanks for sharing that link!
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  • mythmommythmom 8292 replies13 threads Senior Member
    This may be of historical interest, but in terms of the current situation at Williams, um, Morty Shapiro, Adam Falk, the Bronfmans ... enough said.
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