Yeshiva Condemns 'Offensive' Racial Remarks by Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Anti-Defamation League Queried Dean's 'Shvartze' Comment


By Paul Berger

Published March 15, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Yeshiva University has condemned racially loaded remarks made by a top dean of its rabbinic school as “inappropriate” and “offensive.”

Yeshiva University

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, one of Y.U.’s most widely revered rabbinic deans, warned an audience of British rabbis last month that taking reports of child sexual abuse in the Jewish community to the police could result in a Jewish abuser being put “in a cell with a shvartze, in a cell with a Muslim, a black Muslim who wants to kill all the Jews.”

Schachter’s comments were captured on tape and posted Thursday as an audio file on the website FailedMessiah.

On that same day, a Y.U. spokesman responded to a request for comment from the Forward with a statement emphasizing the Y.U faculty’s freedom of speech. The statement added: “Not all statements made by faculty members are consistent with the views of the University. Any offensive or derogatory comments about any people or groups are inconsistent with the values or mission of Yeshiva University.”

But in response to a query from the Anti-Defamation League the following day, Y.U. harshly criticized the respected rabbi.

“The recent use of a derogatory racial term and negative characterizations of African-Americans and Muslims, by a member of the faculty, are inappropriate, offensive, and do not represent the values and mission of Yeshiva University,” a Y.U. spokesman told the ADL.

The ADL called the Forward to offer the quote from Y.U. several hours after the Forward asked the ADL if it had any comment on Schachter’s remarks. Michael Scagnoli, Y.U.’s executive director of communications, confirmed the comments to the Forward afterward.

Etzion Neuer, director of community service and policy for the ADL’s New York region, said: “We think it’s a proper response to an unfortunate situation.”

Contact Paul Berger at berger@forward.com or on Twitter @pdberger


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.