Open Letter

The Jewish MIT Alumni Committee

An Open Letter to the Board of Directors of the MIT Corporation, President Sally Kornbluth, and Professor Mary C. Fuller, Faculty Chair.

December 4, 2023.

Dear Members of the Board of Directors, President Kornbluth, and Professor Fuller:

We, the undersigned, are concerned Jewish and non-Jewish Alumni who are sickened by the state of affairs at MIT. As alumni, we are distraught to see our great and famous alma mater, the one that launched our careers, mired in such disarray.   A renowned institution is imperiled.

An institution that prizes mathematical rigor and consistency and physical and immutable laws is now wrought by arbitrary and discriminatory double standards.  Law-breakers flaunt the law, while law-abiders are shunned and left to fend for themselves.

If this were the extent of the problem, law being supplanted by chaos, it would be bad enough.  But MIT’s precipitous decline into a hostile place is not being driven by randomness.  The evil that infects it is deterministic. It is anti-Semitism.

Jewish students are blocked from attending classes, and fearful of setting foot on campus.   Jewish employees fear bringing their children to MIT Daycare.   The law-breaking and rule-defying is explicitly intended as a challenge to the presence of Jews at MIT.   To characterize it otherwise is disingenuous.   If it is not stopped, there is no telling who may be hurt or how permanent will be the damage.

To date, the response of the Administration has been far too weak, and completely ineffective.

The Jewish community must be protected.  And more than that, it must be supported for its continuance and applauded for its historic contributions to the Institute. Nothing less than a full endorsement of the Jewish community’s place at MIT can start to reverse the damage that has been done to the confidence and trust of the Jewish community at MIT, its Jewish alumni, and friends.

The following steps must be taken to restore order, consistency, security, and reason:

  1. Rules and laws governing protests, political speech, disruptions, assembly, decorum, and civility at MIT must be enforced.

  2. All law-breakers and rule-defiers must be brought promptly to justice. There can be no exceptions.

  3. Security must be improved to protect the Jewish community at MIT; the steps taken must be disseminated clearly, widely, and repeatedly.

  4. An outside multi-disciplinary group of experts must be allowed to conduct a far-reaching and independent investigation into the events of the last 2 months and what is still occurring currently, and a subsequent anti-Semitism audit must be published on all MIT platforms.

  5. Education about anti-Semitism must be instituted for all faculty, staff, and students.   This effort cannot be initiated from within MIT.   It must be overseen by an outside entity that has experience in educating academic communities about anti-Semitism, its history and how to recognize its emergence.   The outside entity must be acceptable to the representatives of the Jewish Alumni community.

We are resolved to see these steps taken to completion.

We are angry and heartbroken at the state of affairs at our alma mater.   But we are also committed to fixing MIT.   We will go to any lengths to restore MIT to the culture that made it great and beloved by its Jewish alumni.   We stand at the ready to help.   A first step in the road to recovery must be a meeting between the Administration and concerned Alumni.   We await your call.

Sincerely yours,

The Jewish MIT Alumni Committee

Arthur J. Carp, ‘76



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