Rutgers University Sanctions Professor For Antisemitic Posts On Social Media

November 11, 2017 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed satisfaction that Rutgers University is removing Professor Michael Chikindas from teaching required courses him as and removing him as Director of the Center for Digestive Health at the Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. University officials said in a statement that Chikindas “was found to have posted extensive bigoted, discriminatory, and anti-Semitic material on social media. This material perpetuated toxic stereotypes and was deeply upsetting to Jewish students, faculty, and staff across our community.”  [see right] 

“Rutgers University’s leadership is finally taken steps to protect its Jewish students from the anti-Semitic bigotry of one of their professors,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action, and Michael Cohen its Eastern Region Director.

“We applaud the Jewish students who stood up against the hate and were proud to work with them and elected officials of New Jersey, including Governor-elect Murphy and NJ Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Deputy Speaker of the NJ Assembly Gordon Johnson, Chair of the Bergen County Freeholder Board Tracy Zur and others,” Cooper and Cohen also said, adding, “We hope that other major American universities who failed to take action against those who have threatened Jewish students will study the Rutgers decision and stop allowing bigots to get a free pass under the cloak of ‘free speech.’”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has been on the ground at Rutgers, meeting with student leaders and Jewish organizational campus professionals such as Hillel for weeks, making sure that it is understood that they have a strong ally in combating such hate at the University. “While the Center commends the actions of Rutgers University regarding Professor Chikindas it is clear that the employment of anti- Semitic professors on campus does not end with him and the Center will continue to work towards the appropriate handling of all such incidents,” Cooper and Cohen concluded.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).