A Statement in Support of David N. Myers // CAJS Blog

posted September 7, 2017

For many years, the Katz Center has benefited from its association with Professor David N. Myers, who recently became the president and CEO of the Center for Jewish History. Myers is a widely esteemed historian and public intellectual, and an ideal person to lead the Center for Jewish History in the 21st century. His vision has been evident at the Katz Center since nearly its inception—Myers has been a fellow four times, twice as architect of the theme, and in another year he edited one the fellowship’s most influential volumes. He has, most importantly, been an editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review for over a decade. His intellectual leadership has been crucial to the journal's revival as a flagship for the field of Jewish studies. 

In recent days, a small group of critics have called for Professor Myers to be fired because of his political views about Israel. We believe their criticism seriously misrepresents his views and confuses the mission of an academic organization with a Jewish communal organization. Myers was selected for his role at the Center for Jewish History on academic grounds—his scholarly reputation and professional leadership are universally admired by his colleagues. His fitness for the role is clear. It would violate core academic values to terminate him for ideas and arguments that he has made, whether or not we agree with them. 

We are proud to be associated with David Myers and his exemplary scholarship, and we write to affirm the Katz Center's commitment to the principle of academic freedom.

Steve Weitzman

Ella Darivoff Director of the Katz Center

Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures