Joint Statement on the “Muslim Ban”

Jewish Studies Programs
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

We, the undersigned Jewish Studies faculty and affiliate faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, join together to condemn the Trump Administration’s executive order banning immigration from seven countries—also known, for good reason, as the “Muslim ban.”

Our experience as Jewish Studies scholars and teachers compels us to speak out against the demonization of members of another religion—a phenomenon all too familiar in Jewish history. Some of the most powerful texts we teach instruct us to welcome the stranger and look after others, from all religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds.

The fact that some of us are but a generation removed from our own families’ experience in the Holocaust deepens our outrage at this administration’s efforts to slam doors against innocent refugees seeking the shelter of America’s freedoms enshrined in our Constitution. The fact that the ban was issued on International Holocaust Memorial Day, an occasion to remember the extremes to which racism and xenophobia can lead, adds cruel irony to the turmoil unleashed by the decree.

Our two institutions currently host hundreds of students, faculty, and staff from the seven nations targeted by this executive order. These people enrich our campuses, they broaden our understanding, and their talents and hard work contribute to the international reputation the University of Wisconsin has earned. We are proud to call them our students, colleagues, and friends. We implore you to consider the ways that not only these immigrants contribute to our scholarship and service, but to learn from the ways immigrants have done so throughout this country’s history.

Rachel Baum, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Hebrew Studies and Jewish Studies Deputy Director, Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies

Joel Berkowitz, Professor of Foreign Languages and Literature Director, Sam & Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies

Amos Bitzan, Weinstein Assistant Professor of Modern European Jewish History

Rachel Brenner, Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies

Shira Brisman, Assistant Professor, Art History

Rabbi David Brusin, Senior Lecturer, Hebrew and Jewish Studies

Rachel Buff, Professor of History; Director, Comparative Ethnic Studies Program

Teryl Dobbs, Professor of Music Education

Ivan Ermakoff, Professor of Sociology

Chad Goldberg, Professor of Sociology

Jeremy Hutton, Professor of Classical Hebrew Language and Biblical Literature

Lauren Lauter, Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies Administrative Staff

Tracey Mason, Financial Specialist, Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies

Steven Nadler, William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Humanities

Tasha Oren, Associate Professor of English and Media Studies

Anna Paretskaya, Lecturer, Sociology and Jewish Studies

Jordan Rosenblum, Belzer Professor of Classical Judaism

Simone Schweber, Michael and Judy Goodman Professor of Education and Jewish Studies Director, Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies

Nadav Shelef, Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Modern Israel Studies

Lisa Silverman, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies

Judith Sone, Associate Director, Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies

Marc Tasman, Senior Lecturer, Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies Coordinator, Digital Arts and Culture Program

Sunny Yudkoff, Assistant Professor of Eastern European Jewish Studies