On the Hannah Arendt Center’s Conference: “Racism and Antisemitism”

The Hannah Arendt Center
Oct 15 · 2 min read
Batya Ungar-Sargon, Reverend Jacqui Lewis, Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, Amy Schiller

After the 12th Annual Hannah Arendt Center Conference, this year on “Racism and Antisemitism,” the journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon posted an editorial in the Forward claiming she was protested at Bard College for being Jewish. She said she was prevented from continuing to speak, and that Bard College had no plan to deal with the protesters. Ungar-Sargon also accused other speakers at the conference of antisemitism because they supported the rights of the protesters to protest. Ungar-Sargon’s account has been widely contested; numerous people in attendance at the conference have written to present alternative perspectives. For accounts of what happened, please read these responses linked to below:

Kenneth S. Stern, director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, Letter to the Editor: I Was at the Bard Anti-Semitism Panel, and Saw Deep Disagreement, not Singling Out of Jews

Roger Berkowitz, academic founder and director of the Hannah Arendt Center, https://forward.com/opinion/letters/433122/letter-to-the-editor-i-organized-the-bard-conference-and-batya-ungar/

Samantha Rose Hill, assistant director of the Hannah Arendt Center, Letter to the Editor: https://forward.com/opinion/letters/433125/letter-to-the-editor-ungar-sargon-chose-to-leave-bard-conference/

https://jewishjournal.com/columnist/305744/why-do-college-students-regularly-protest-jewish-and-israeli-speakers-on-campus/

Jeffrey C. Isaac, http://www.publicseminar.org/2019/10/anti-semitism-at-the-bard-conference-bds/

Shahanna McKiney-Baldon, https://forward.com/opinion/letters/433145/i-was-misrepresented-in-column-about-protest-at-bard-college/

Mairav Zonszein, https://jewishcurrents.org/what-really-happened-at-bard-college/

Philip Weiss, https://mondoweiss.net/2019/10/batya-ungar-sargon-links-anti-zionists-to-david-duke-and-synagogue-murders/

Tamar Wyschogrod, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/anti-semitism-bard-and-me/

Forward staff, https://forward.com/news/433144/forum-what-happened-when-students-protested-at-a-bard-college-conference/

Batya Ungar-Sargon, https://forward.com/opinion/433082/i-was-protested-at-bard-college-for-being-a-jew/

Aliza Becker, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/at-bard-hurt-feelings-sidetrack-a-crucial-conversation/

Julia Eilenberg, M.D., https://medium.com/@arendt_center/to-the-editor-b5e45fd708b

And better yet, watch the video of the conference for yourself:


Conference Panel: “Who Needs Antisemitism?” Ruth Wisse. Moderators: Shany Mor and Batya Ungar Sargon
Conference Panel: “Racism and Zionism: Black and Jewish Relations”. Reverend Jacqui Lewis, Batya Ungar Sargon, Shahanna McKinney-Baldon and Moderator: Amy Schiller

The Hannah Arendt Center

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The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities at Bard College is an expansive home for thinking about and in the spirit of Hannah Arendt.

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