Daily Israel Report

Discrimination Abounds at Brooklyn College

Administration at Brooklyn College is accused of discriminating against qualified Orthodox and female Jewish professors.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 4/4/2012, 10:33 AM

Hareidi women at work
Hareidi women at work
Flash 90

Faculty members at New York’s Brooklyn College are accusing the administration of discriminating against qualified Orthodox and female Jewish professors by rejecting their bids for appointments and promotions, The New York Post reported on Tuesday.

“Jews are having a problem with this provost. He’s making it harder and harder to bring in Jews. He doesn’t want Jews,” said Hershy Friedman, deputy chairman of the Business Department, referring to college Provost William Tramantano.

State Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn), a Brooklyn College graduate, sent a letter to CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, claiming there’s a “pervasive pattern of anti-Semitism at the highest levels of Brooklyn College.”

“Based on what we know, this guy does not belong at Brooklyn College. This is crazy,” he said.

Jewish professors did not receive posts for which they had been qualified and recommended due to Tramantano’s alleged anti-Jewish practices, noted the Post, citing the following examples:

Professor of Marketing, Nava Silton, was rated “head and shoulders” above her colleagues by the Business Department’s appointments panel, yet the provost rejected her bid because she was too religious, sources claimed.

The administration decided to block the hiring of Dov Fisher, who was rated the best of three finalists for a business-teaching position.

Frimette Kass-Shraibman applied for promotion to a full professorship, but was denied.

Miriam Gerstein was deemed to be most qualified for a professorship, but the administration rejected her appointment. She was later hired after the selection committee filed a formal complaint alleging a “hostile work environment” for Jewish women.

“We believe there is a pattern of anti-Semitism, If it’s not anti-Semitism, what is it?” asked Kass-Shraibman.

A college spokesman denied the allegations saying, “Decisions about hiring, promotion, and tenure at Brooklyn College are made with utmost care.”

A CUNY official noted some of the top faculty positions at Brooklyn College are held by Orthodox Jews. The College has had a large population of Orthodox Jewish students for many years.