Historical Background

The MIT Jewish Alumni Alliance was formed in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of October 7, 2023, and subsequent to the explosion of antisemitic rhetoric and acts of intimidation across MIT’s campus, the country, and the world.  MIT’s administration has failed to acknowledge the magnitude of growing antisemitism evident across the MIT campus and failed to take effective measures to stem it.   

MIT administration’s unwillingness to address the problem of growing antisemitism was further evident during the congressional testimony of December 5, 2023, when MIT’s president, Sally Kornbluth, declared that, depending upon the context, calls for the genocide of Jews may not constitute bullying and harassment under MIT’s code of conduct.  Despite facing public condemnation for her comments, the MIT Corporation publicly extended its full support to President Kornbluth.  As a consequence, intimidation and harassment of MIT’s Jewish community continues undeterred.

Overview of select videos and statements regarding antisemitic climate on the MIT campus since October 7, 2023

Sunday, October 8, 2023

A group of 5 MIT-funded student groups issued a joint statement on the October 7th attack that was emailed to the entire undergraduate student body.  The text of the email read, in part:

“In light of recent events in Palestine, the MIT Coalition Against Apartheid and Palestine@MIT denounces the settler colonial occupation by Israel, which is the root of the current situation. Colonization itself is inherently violent; we thus affirm the right of occupied peoples to resist their oppressors and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. For more information, please view the full statement here.

Until liberation,

MIT Coalition Against Apartheid


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Chants of “From the river to the sea” outside of the student center during a protest

Monday, October 23, 2023

Disrupting lectures to chant “Free Palestine” 3.091 (intro to material science) , 18.06 (linear algebra), a third class)  Note that all these classes took place in MIT’s largest lecture halls.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Storming the MIT MISTI office to chant “From the river to the sea” (MISTI supports internships and other academic activities for MIT students and faculty abroad in many countries, including Israel). From Professor Evan Lieberman, who directs the MISTI global experiential learning program: “They insistently rattled the door handles of offices that were closed with staff inside; and they congregated outside of and entered the office that facilitates MISTI’s programming in the Middle East, and at least one other office. Their chants included: “From the river to the sea…”, “MISTI, MISTI, you can’t hide,” and cries associating MISTI with genocide… Some staff members said they felt trapped in their offices, anxious about the prospect of verbal and/or physical assault. The students later protested outside the office of the faculty director of MIT-Israel.”

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Despite being warned the day before, on November 8th, about MIT policies regarding events, vigils, rallies, and protests by MIT administration in this statement, students occupied Lobby 7 (not an approved protest venue) for the entirety of the day.

Signs in this protest included “Sally you can’t hide” splattered in red paint to look like blood (referring to MIT President Sally Kornbluth).  This graphic was also posted on the Instagram page of the MIT student group Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA) the previous evening.

Loud and disruptive protests took place throughout the day.  See the following videos:

MIT President Sally Kornbluth distributed flyers to protesting MIT students in Lobby 7 saying, “With the current disruption of Institute activities, a line has been crossed… any student who remains [in Lobby 7 or the Infinite Corridor] as a protestor after 12:15 PM today will be subject to suspension.” She later sent a message that walked back on academic suspension to instead state that “the students who remained after the deadline will be suspended from non-academic campus activities” with the reason being that MIT was concerned about consequences of suspension for the visa status of some of the involved students.  Even the weak “non-academic campus activities suspension” has yet to be enforced.  The opaque and slow-moving Committee on Discipline (COD) and Institute Discrimination & Harassment Response (IDHR) Office has failed to ensure that students in the future will not be deterred from violating MIT policy and instead receive the wrong and dangerous message that they can continue their conduct uninhibited.  

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Marches on Massachusetts Ave on the MIT campus where outside groups were invited to participate:

Video: Calls to “globalize the intifada” in a mass protest outside of Lobby 7

Monday, December 4, 2023 and Wednesday, December 6, 2023

An unauthorized person gained access into the Religious Activities Center (W11) and the Hillel Lounge, confronting Jewish students. He accused them of working for the Mossad, made obscene gestures, and urinated on the Hillel window from the outside during prayer services.   

Tuesday January 2, 2024

Electrical engineering and computer science Professor Mauricio Karchmer resigns over campus climate: ‘During a time when the Jewish and Israeli students, staff and faculty were particularly vulnerable, instead of offering the support they needed, the broader MIT community exhibited open hostility towards them. Like many other college campuses nationwide, the institute clearly failed this test.

Some areas of study at MIT seem to prioritize promoting a specific worldview over teaching critical thinking skills. This seems to have been institutionalized in many of MIT’s departments and programs.

MIT has some work to do if it wants to continue in its mission “to educate students in areas of scholarship to best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.” ‘