Statement and Petition Regarding YU Pride Alliance
Jofa shares the pain of Yeshiva University students, alumni, and faculty in seeing the school take such a public stand against its own students. We share their distress in seeing Torah values deployed to deny fellow Jews safety and support within their own community. We share their disappointment in reaction to the positions Yeshiva University (YU) has recently taken.
Linked here bit.ly/YULetter is the full letter inviting YU students, alumni, and faculty calling on YU to stop the escalation and hear from the university’s LGBTQ+ students.
The petition signers seek for this conflict to be resolved peacefully and privately, and for LGBTQ+ Jews to receive the full recognition and support they deserve in their Jewish communities.
The letter reads in part: “YU’s refusal to sanction the club insinuated that such a simple statement of identity would contravene Torah values. It needlessly sexualized the identities of queer Jews, whose experiences of love, desire, and emotional intimacy are no less complex, no less deeply human, and no less Divinely ordained than those of any other Jew or human being. It implied that no authoritative interpretation of Torah values can allow for even the most basic inclusion of openly LGBTQ+ people in Torah-observant communities. Whether or not this was what the administration intended, this was the message that students heard. And to their credit, this was a message they refused to accept.”
Furthermore, what is at stake here goes beyond the status of this club at this university. A ruling in favor of Yeshiva University will open the door to discriminatory policies – including against women – at Yeshiva University as well as at other non-sectarian institutions. A free-exercise right to an exemption from New York’s anti-discrimination law would apply more broadly to other institutions and entities covered by the law. Other individuals or groups could face discrimination based on gender, religious identity and race.
If you are a YU student, alumnus, or faculty member and would like to sign, please click here: bit.ly/SignYULetter. Thank you.
For additional information:
History Revisited: Controversy Over LGBT Clubs at YU Graduate Schools - The Commentator
Yeshiva University 1995 Statement Regarding Gay Student Clubs