Dr. Wise Charges Discrimination Against Jewish Students in Colleges

Discrimination against Jewish students in American colleges was charged by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise in his sermon Sunday morning at the Free Synagogue on “The Jew in American Colleges.” Acts of discrimination, he declared, have tragically caused the Jewish intellectual to cease to be a Jew and “to become associated with nothing,” through his efforts to lose his racial and religious identity.

In the course of his sermon Dr. Wise mentioned specifically Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia as typical institutions where Jewish students and their activities were being discriminated against.

“Not one in 100 of the young Jews in American colleges and universities is sincerely and frankly a Jew,” said Dr. Wise. “The young Jew in our colleges is a problem. He is an alien element, a child of a daring race, without ideals or vision. Not 5 percent of these students go to the synagogue or link themselves in any way to the Jewish religious life. I can see why Christiaus look askance at this.”

Dr. Wise contended that it was “immeasurably more difficult for a Jew to achieve a position in a university than it is for a non-Jew.” He declared that only a few Jews got into university clubs here and elsewhere, and those who did get in “usually speak in” by withholding their racial identity.

At Yale and Princeton, Dr. Wise said, in scanning the list of recent entrants to Greek letter fraternities and clubs and so-called honorary societies he did not see the name of a single Jew. He explained that he knew many Jewish students choose any but Jewish names.

Rabbi Wise attacked Greek letter fraternities. They were “worse than awful,” he said, and he regarded Jewish fraternities as even worse, “because they are exactly like the others only more so.” These Jewish fraternities exclude Jews whose parents and grandparents were not born in the United States or who may be of Russian Jewish and Polish Jewish origin.

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