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Hillel director apologizes for attack

The director of UCLA’s Hillel has issued a public apology to a journalist he assaulted after a campus event in 2003. Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller’s apology to Rachel Neuwirth, issued in February, follows three years of litigation that grew out of the attack on the Los Angeles campus. As Seidler-Feller and Neuwirth left a lecture by Alan Dershowitz, Neuwirth commented critically on Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian speaker whom Seidler-Feller had invited. The rabbi then physically attacked her. Seidler-Feller subsequently was ordered to attend an anger-management course. In his apology to Neuwirth, Seidler-Feller wrote, “I am deeply sorry that I hit, kicked and scratched you and called you a liar on Oct. 21, 2003. By taking these unprovoked actions, I have contradicted the pluralism, peace and tolerance about which I often preach. I also have violated the humanitarian teachings of Judaism regarding kindness and respect for others that I am bound to uphold. I am also sorry for and deeply regret that as a result of the incident, various statements were made in the media which you feel mischaracterized the incident. I am accepting 100 percent responsibility for my actions. I had no right to do what I did.”