A response to Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer

If you met someone who knew me, they’d tell you I’m the type of person to comment on anything, anywhere, anytime, because I’m an individual who cares enough about others to be honest, 100 percent of the time.

Romy Ronen

OpEds Columbia University
Columbia University
INN:Douglas Gorenstein

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer,

Thank you very much for sharing what you contributed to Columbia’s community during your time there. I think it’s very important that you “marched for Soviet Jews and for Israel” and that you even “ran for the Columbia University Senate.” Thank you for relating to me and to my youth, through expressing that your students keep you in touch with “Game of Thrones,” “13 Reasons Why,” and “Stranger Things,” all television shows that I do not have time to watch. I do, however, enjoy “Eggos waffles.” As the daughter of a finance professor and the granddaughter of an accounting professor and a biblical literature professor, “I totally get it,” as the kids say these days.

It’s funny that you remark on the tears. It’s funny because, if you met me, you’d know I’m not the type of person to ever cry. Forgive me, for I couldn’t contain my sadness. I guess I could blame it on being human. I could blame it on my youth. Or I could blame it on the fact that every single day I work to project my pro-Israel views, to combat antisemitism, and to work with Students Supporting Israel, a movement that is forever close to my heart.

Let me start from the beginning. I came to Columbia and I knew that the first plan on my agenda was to join a theater group, as I had in high school. I was always passionate about the arts, and I didn’t want to let that go. But, mostly, I was passionate about being part of a group of people that are open, diverse, accepting, loving, strong, incredible. And that group happened to be Students Supporting Israel, a group I found through a dear friend. As an Israeli Jewish woman on Columbia’s campus, coming from an amazing International Baccalaureate private school in Manhattan, I knew it was finally time for me to share my views with the world, to fight for our Israel. Thereafter, I joined every possible Israeli and Jewish organization I could. I started publishing a multitude of Op-Eds, and this year, along with Students Supporting Israel, when he came to speak on campus, I exposed the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Bin Mohamad for his antisemitic remarks, and spoke about this issue on i24 News.

It’s ironic that you used this example: “you don’t tell a person with a big pimple that he has a big pimple. Unless you are incredibly close to someone, you do not comment on their weight, their hairstyle, their hygiene.” It’s ironic and slightly hysterical because, if you met someone who knew me, they’d tell you I’m the type of person to comment on anything, anywhere, anytime, because I’m an individual who cares enough about others to be honest, 100 percent of the time. They’ll also tell you that, stereo typically speaking, I’m the most Israeli person you’ll ever meet, in my mentality, in my bravery, and in my effortless ability to be frank. This is exactly why I exposed myself in the Op-Ed, and communicated that I did cry. You can shame me for it, blame me for it, but it’s a fact, and I don’t hide from the truth.

Thank you for pointing out that “The University Administration, just as with Barnard’s across the street last year, will never dare implement a single syllable of a BDS resolution against Israel.” I appreciate your trust in our community. But I don’t take bets, I don’t sit back and relax or watch any of the television shows you referred to me previously. 

And as far as degrading professorship, stating that “tenured social-science professors would have to go out and get real jobs in the real world.” What is this “real job” you speak of? It was my impression that professors are the individuals who bear the knowledge and the wisdom to provide students with what they need in the real world, especially when they have the honor of being tenured.

I’d also like to point out that you wrote a lot before you researched me. I hope you get a chance to read this, maybe meet me one day, before you make another attempt to divide the pro-Israel and Jewish community - at least that's how I understand what you wrote - when we all have the same goal.

Let’s work together to fight back against BDS at our school! In closing, I want you and everyone who reads this to know that I'm a proud member of Students Supporting Israel and I will always stand up for Israel and for the Jewish people.