A Statement from the Colorado Jewish community to CU President Todd Saliman and CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano
October 26, 2023
Todd Saliman, CU President
Philip DiStefano, CU Boulder Chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder
Dear President Saliman and Chancellor DiStefano:
While we commend President Todd Saliman for his online post condemning the reprehensible October 23 post on the CU Ethnic Studies Department website regarding Israel, we are gravely concerned about Chancellor Philip DiStefano’s minimalist response to it.
The posted statement, stripped of the absolute inaccuracies, is blatant hate speech. This statement has not only demonized Israel and horrified the Colorado Jewish Community but also showcased a flagrant disregard for the humanity of Jewish individuals. This neglectful act has created ripples across the learning environment at the University of Colorado.
The callousness demonstrated towards Jewish students, irrespective of their association with the department, is startling and cannot be overlooked. Our community’s safety and sense of belonging are at stake, and we cannot, under any circumstances, allow our members to feel unsafe or marginalized. The demonization and dehumanization, both explicit and implied, in the Ethnic Studies Department’s statement are not isolated issues. They are reflective of a dangerous rhetoric that has fueled terrorist attacks against the Jewish community and has perpetuated violence and discrimination. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents across this country have increased by 388% since October 7.
The University of Colorado’s muted response to such a severe transgression is deeply disappointing. The situation calls for a robust and unequivocal repudiation from your institution.
Renée Rockford, President & CEO, JEWISHcolorado
Ben Lusher, Board Chair, JEWISHcolorado
Matt Most, Chair, Jewish Community Relations Council
Scott L. Levin, Regional Director, Mountain States Region, Anti-Defamation League
Rabbi Emily Hyatt, President, Rocky Mountain Rabbis Cantors
Mike Sophir, Executive Director, Staenberg-Loup JCC
David Foster, BA 1990; MPA 1996, CU Parent, Co-managing partner, Foster Graham Milstein & Calisher, LLP
Alon Mor, National Board Member, Israeli American Council
Jonathan Lev, Boulder JCC