Monday, April 30, 2012

“Rabbi” As a Pejorative is Now Acceptable?

One of my staff members took a call this week from a student at Brooklyn College who was phoning to complain of an incident in class that left her and some of her fellow students shaken.

During a lecture by one of her professors, a classmate of this young woman’s asked the professor to clarify a point he had made.

“Stop being such a rabbi,” the professor replied, clearly annoyed.

“What does that mean?” asked the student.

“You’re being so technical about everything.”

What exactly is it that emboldens a professor to speak this way to a student in front of a class? Can it be that this negative attitude towards rabbis—and Orthodox Judaism in general—has become acceptable on this campus? Is this example being set by someone in power at Brooklyn College?

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