Jewish Studies Scholars Speak Out Against Immigration Ban

We, scholars of Jewish studies from across the United States, call upon our government to maintain its commitment to welcoming refugees; to protect the rights of undocumented immigrants; and to resist the basest impulse of building walls- whether actual or metaphorical-—around our nation and its ideals.As scholars of Jewish studies, we devote our lives to studying a people defined, in part, by its experiences of expulsion and refugeehood. Throughout their history, Jews have been expelled or barred from entry from countries on the grounds of their perceived threats to security and unity. While Jews found refuge in the United States throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, in the 1930s and 1940s, Jewish refugees from Nazi-occupied countries suffered at the hands of our country’s then-newly enacted restrictive immigration policies.We know Jews have not been alone in facing expulsion and being denied places of refuge. In our world today, human beings living under repressive and life-threatening regimes seek asylum so they can protect their families and survive. Just as Jews who were turned away from entrance to the United States in the 1930s and 1940s met deadly fates when our country failed to meet the most basic test of humanitarian and moral action, so might the refugees denied entry today.The United State of America is a country of immigrants. At its best, it has stitched together the fabrics of different cultural backgrounds into a rich mosaic. Shoring up our borders by building walls and excluding whole classes of newcomers based upon tests of religion are un- American acts. So too is requiring police forces to treat undocumented immigrants as felons before they are given any due process. Our country is enriched by the labor, culture, and creativity of newcomers who often have entered because they could no longer live in their homelands; our democracy rests on the ability to extend liberties and rights as widely as possible.We ask that you, our elected officials, do everything in your power to stop our country from enacting isolationist policies and fencing ourselves off from the world in which we live. The “benefits” of isolationism will pale in comparison to the risks it poses to refugees and immigrants and to the very founding ideals of the United States of America. Those ideals— and the people brought to our country as a direct result of them—have inspired the best in all of us. Join us in protesting policies and orders that threaten these American ideals and use your positions to advance legal protections for refugees and all classes of immigrants.


Mika Ahuvia, University of Washington
Yasaman Alavi
Anne Albert, University of Pennsylvania
Elizabeth Alexander, University of Virginia
Ibrahim Alnawateer
Allan Amanik, Brooklyn College
Veronika Ambros, University of Toronto
Jessica Andruss, University of Virginia
Ari Ariel, University of Iowa
Diannr Ashton, Rowan University
Fred Astren, San Francisco State University
Karen Auerbach
Eugene M. Avrutin, University of Illinois
Beverly Bailis, Brooklyn College
Zachary Baker, Stanford University
Shelley Baranowski, University of Akron
Omer Bartov, Brown University
Orit Bashkin, University of Chicago
Mark Bauman, Southern Jewish History Journal
Albert Baumgarten, Bar Ilan University
Murray Baumgarten, UC Santa Cruz
Ronald Bayor, Georgia Tech
Elissa Bemporad, Queens College/the CUNY Graduate Center
Mara Benjamin, St. Olaf College
Sarah Benor, Hebrew Union College
Matthew Berkman, University of Pennsylvania
Joel Berkowitz, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Lila Berman, Temple University
Charles Bernstein, University of Pennsylvania
David Biale, University of California, Davis
Asher Biemann, University of Virginia
Jeffrey Blutinger, California State University, Long Beach
Yael Bobruff
Marion Bodian, University of Texas, Austin
Miriam Borenstein, Wayne State University
Linda J. Borish, Western Michigan University
Lauren Borrasso
Ra’anan Boustan, Princeton University
Shamma Boyarin, University of Victoria, BC Canada
Jonathan Boyarin, Cornell University
Catey Boyle, Tufts University
Ross Brann, Cornell University
Benjamin Braude, Boston College
Francesca Bregoli, CUNY
Naomi Brenner, Ohio State University
David Brodsky, Brooklyn College
Alex Brostoff
Amy Bryman
Darcy Buerkle, Smith College
Andrew Bush, Vassar College
Debra Caplan, Baruch College
Jessica Carr, Lafayette College
Flora Cassen, UNC Chapel Hill
Bruno Chaouat, University of Minnesota
Susan Cobin
Julia Cohen, Vanderbilt University
Ariel Cohen, University of Virginia
Aryeh Cohen, American Jewish University
Judah Cohen, Indiana University
Michael Cohen, Tulane University
Steven Cohen, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
Shaye Cohen, Harvard University
Alon Confino, University of Virginia/Ben-Gurion University
Julie Cooper, Tel Aviv University
Jessica Cooperman
Joan Costello
Max Daniel, UCLA
Galeet Dardashti
Deborah Dash Moore, University of Michigan
Jeremy Dauber, Columbia University
Natalie Zemon Davis, Princeton University
Rebecca Davis, University of Delaware
Marni Davis, Georgia State University
Carolyn Dean, Yale University
Evelyn Dean-Olmsted, University of Puerto Rico
Rachel Deblinger, UC Santa Cruz
Jonathan Decter, Brandeis University
Erez DeGolan, Columbia University
Irit Dekel, University of Virginia
Nathaniel Deutsch
Hasia Diner, New York University
Marc Dollinger, San Francisco State University
Lois Dubin, Smith College/University of Pennsylvania
Glenn Dynner
John Efron, UC Berkeley
Susan L. Einbinder, University of Connecticut
Ellen Eisenberg, Willamette University
Elazar Elhanan, CUNY
Leah Elias-Nelson
Barat Ellman
Jonathan Elukin, Trinity College
Abram Epstein
Marc M. Epstein, Vassar College
Amir Eshel, Stanford University
Ayala Fader, Fordham University
Marjorie Feld, Babson College
Miriam Feinstein, Yale University
Sara Feldman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kirsten Fermaglich, Michigan State University
Gabriel Finder, University of Virginia
Michael Fishbane, University of Chicago
Eitan Fishbane, Jewish Theological Seminary
Talya Fishman, University of Pennsylvania
Madeleine Fix
Steven Foldes
Charlotte Fonrobert, Stanford University
Arnold Franklin, Queens College, CUNY
ChaeRan Freeze, Brandeis University
Joshua Friedman, CUNY Graduate Center
Joshua Furman, Rice University
Sarah Garibova, University of Michigan
Jennifer Geddes, University of Virginia
Maja Gildin Zuckerman
Susan Gish
Jennifer Glaser, University of Cincinnati
Greg Schmidt Goering, University of Virginia
Karla Goldman, University of Michigan
Sarah Gracombe, Stonehill College
Erin Graff Zivin, University of Southern California
Jaclyn Granick, University of Oxford
Cheryl Greenberg, Trinity College
Daniel Greene, Northwestern University
Tova Griffel
Ronnie Grinberg, University of Oklahoma
Denise Grollmus, University of Washington
Rachel Gross, San Francisco State University
Jeffrey Grossman, University of Virginia
Atina Grossmann, Cooper Union
Karen Grumberg
Carol Ha
Aaron Hahn Tapper, University of San Francisco
Liora Halperin, University of Colorado Boulder
Jennifer Hansen-Glucklich, University of Mary Washington
Rachel Harris, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Alma Heckman, UC Santa Cruz
Kathryn Hellerstein, University of Pennsylvania
Roni Henig, PhD candidate, Columbia University
Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College
Jennifer Hirsh, Maryland Institute College of Art
Karina Martin Hogan, Fordham University
Brian Horowitz, Tulane University
Susan Huehn, St. Olaf College
Aaron Hughes, University of Rochester
Anna Igra, Carleton College
Sarah Imhoff, Indiana University
Daniel Itzkovitz, Stonehill College
Jack Jacobs, City University of New York
Adriana Jacobs
Ari Joskowicz, Vanderbilt University
Jonathan Judaken, Rhodes College
Robin Judd, The Ohio State University
Daniel Judson, Hebrew College
Ava Kahn, Chayes Productions
Brett Kaplan, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Eran Kaplan, San Francisco State University
Marion Kaplan, NYU
Jonathan Karp, Binghamton University, SUNY
Sarit Kattan Gribetz, Fordham University
Jordan Katz, Columbia University
Ari Kelman, Stanford University
Shaul Kelner, Vanderbilt University
Emil Kerenji
Ronald Kiener, Trinity College
Arthur Kiron, University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Kirzane, Columbia University
Melissa Klapper, Rowan University
Janet Klein, University of Akron
Rebecca Kobrin, Columbia University
Michal Kofman, University of Louisville
Shira Kohn
Ken Koltun-Fromm, Haverford College
Linda Komisar
Moshe Kornfeld, Washington University in St. Louis
Oren Kosansky, Lewis & Clark College
Astrid Kosowski
Rachel Kranson, University of Pittsburgh
Chana Kronfeld, UC Berkeley
Karil Kucera, St Olaf College
Hartley Lachter, Lehigh University
Josh Lambert, UMass Amherst
Timothy Langille, Arizona State University
Andrea Lieber, Dickinson College
Laura Leibman, Reed College
Rebecca Lesses, Ithaca College
Jon Levisohn, Brandeis University
Laura Levitt, Temple University
Lital Levy, Princeton University
James Loeffler, University of Virginia
Caroline Luce, UCLA
Jason Lustig, UCLA
Loren Lybarger
Shaul Magid, Indiana University
Shana Makuta
John Mandsager, University of South Carolina
Barbara Mann, Jewish Theological Seminary
Jessica Marglin, University of Southern California
Gordon Marino, St. Olaf College
Devi Mays, University of Michigan
Harriet McCleary
Frank Mecklenburg, Leo Baeck Institute
Yitzhak Melamed, Johns Hopkins University
Jeffrey Melnick, UMass-Boston
Shana Minkin, Sewanee: The University of the South
Pardis Minuchehr, George Washington University
Alyssa Mische
Elaine Moise
Lauren Monroe, Cornell University
Chris Monroe, Cornell University
Chana Morgenstern, University of Cambridge
Leslie Morris, University of Minnesota
Joseph Moser, West Chester University
Ghada Mourad
David N. Myers, UCLA
Devin Naar, University of Washington
Pamela Nadell, American University
Benjamin Nathans, University of Pennsylvania
Gabriel Nazziola , NASFA
Rachel R. Neis, University of Michigan
Michael Newmark
Anita Norich, University of Michigan
Vanessa Ochs, University of Virginia
Atalia Omer, University of Notre Dame
Ranen Omer-Sherman, University of Louisville
Marla Osborn, Rohatyn Jewish Heritage
Anne Perez, University of California, Davis
Noam Pianko, University of Washington
Lucy Pick, University of Chicago
Shachar Pinsker, University of Michigan
Celine Piser
Hannah Pollin-Galay, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Riv-Ellen Prell, University of Minnesota
Claudia Prestel
Anya Quilitzsch, University of Michigan
Shari Rabin, College of Charleston
Michal Raizen, Ohio Wesleyan University
Randi Rashkover, George Mason University
Asghar Rastegar, Yale University
Alyssa Reiman, University of Michigan
Shira Robinson, George Washington University
Bryan Roby, University of Michigan
Aron Rodrigue, Stanford University
Monique Rodrigues Balbuena, University of Oregon
Caroline Rody, University of Virginia
Naama Rokem, University of Chicago
Kate Rosenblatt, University of Michigan
Benjamin Rosenthal
Lawrence Rosenwald, Wellesley College
Michael Rothberg, UCLA
Hannah Roussel, University of Michigan
Nina Rowe, Fordham University
Nora Rubel, University of Rochester
Joel Rubin, University of Virginia
Elisha Russ-Fishbane, NYU
Nancy Ruttenburg, Stanford University
Elias Sacks, University of Colorado, Boulder
Gabriella Safran, Stanford University
Edith Salzman
Allison Schachter, Vanderbilt University
Anne Schenderlein
Joshua Schreier, Vassar College
Sebastian Schulman, Indiana University/Smith College
Anna Schultz, Stanford University
Don Schwartz, California State University, Long Beach
Joshua Schwartz, New York University
Shira Schwartz
Daniel Schwartz, George Washington University
Shuly Schwartz, Jewish Theological Seminary
Sasha Senderovich, University of Colorado Boulder
Joshua Shanes, College of Charleston
Susan Shapiro, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Adam Shear, University of Pittsburgh
Judith Shedletsky, NASW
Rona Sheramy
Amy Shevitz, Arizona State University
David Shneer, University of Colorado
Jeffrey Shoulson, University of Connecticut
Ray Shows, St. Olaf College
Nancy Shows
Sam Shuman, University of Michigan
Emily Sigalow, Duke University
Lisa Silverman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Amy Simon, Michigan State University
April Slabosheski
Eliza Slavet, UC San Diego
Jeremy Sorgen, University of Virginia
Daniel Soyer, Fordham University
Ronit Stahl, University of Pennsylvania
Neta Stahl, Johns Hopkins University
Deborah Starr, Cornell University
Richard Steigmann-Gall, Kent State University
Sarah Stein, UCLA
Lior Sternfeld, Penn State University
Max Strassfeld
Lauren Strauss, American University
Claire Sufrin, Northwestern University
Corliss Swain, St. Olaf College
Jarrod Tanny, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Magda Teter, Fordham University
Kristina Thalhammer, St. Olaf College
Rochelle Tobias, Johns Hopkins University
Anna Elena Torres, University of Chicago
Ken Travis
Mary Trull, St. Olaf College
Shani Tzoref, University of Potsdam
Miriam Udel, Emory University
Jeffrey Veidlinger, University of Michigan
David Wacks, University of Oregon
James Walli
Anne Walter, St. Olaf College
Mira Wasserman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Dov Waxman, Northeastern University
Deborah Waxman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College
Shayna Weiss
Dov Weiss, University of Illinois
Lee Shai Weissbach, University of Louisville
Steven Weitzman, University of Pennsylvania
Beth Wenger, University of Pennsylvania
Ariella Werden-Greenfield, Temple University
Sarah Willen, University of Connecticut
Jessica Wilson
Rebecca Winer, Villanova University
Sebastian Wogenstein, University of Connecticut
Diane Wolf, UC Davis
Diane Wolfthal, Rice University
Jonathan Wurl, Stanford University
Ipek Yosmaoglu, Northwestern University
James Young, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Sunny Yudkoff, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Orian Zakai, Middlebury College
Saul Zaritt, Harvard University
Sarah Zarrow, New Europe College
Jonathan Zatlin, Boston University
Alexandra Zirkle, University of Chicago