NewsHBCU President Seeks To Heal Black-Jewish Relations

HBCU President Seeks To Heal Black-Jewish Relations

New Orleans, Louisiana-based University was once the home of the National Center for Black-Jewish Relations, which supported research on the historical alliance between the communities.

New Orleans, Louisiana-based Dillard University was once the home of the National Center for Black-Jewish Relations, which supported research on the historical alliance between the communities. The center was closed due to budgetary strains following Hurricane Katrina. To strengthen relationships between Black and Jewish communities, Dillard President Rochelle Ford sought to relaunch the program by spearheading a fundraiser.

The campaign ended abruptly on Oct. 7th after the Hamas attack on Israel led to war.
“We paused on aggressively seeking funds because of the terrorist attack and the ensuing war because I didn’t want it to seem opportunistic,” Ford told The Washington Post. 

However, Ford continued to support the Jewish community by forming a partnership with Yeshiva University in Israel. Ford was last November’s guest speaker at the March For Israel in Washington, D.C.
“I ask you to join me in pausing to acknowledge that there have been too many innocent people in Gaza and Israel who have died,” she said.

Students quickly took to social media to criticize her for attending the event, which some of them said dehumanized Palestinians and undermined the university’s legacy.

Dillard alumni Leslie Grover disapproved of Ford’s presence at the march, stating that it was an effort to justify Israel’s presence in Gaza. She also noticed that the university turned off its comment section on their social media posts.

That was “the final straw for me,” she told The Washington Post.
“It felt like they were telling students their voices didn’t matter, and that’s the opposite of what I was taught at Dillard,” Grover said.
Ford said she was surprised by the backlash, but her belief in the center hasn’t waned, and she is still working to forge relationships between Black and Jewish leaders. Fundraising efforts are currently on hold, Ford says.
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Source: Black Enterprise

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