Metro Detroit Jewish Organizations Denounce Passage of Divestment Resolution at University of Michigan

November 15, 2017 | Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

In the wake of last night’s divestment vote by the University of Michigan’s Central Student Government (CSG), the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC, and ADL Michigan released the following statement:

We condemn the outcome of the CSG vote last night in which the student governing body approved a resolution calling on the University of Michigan to divest from several companies that operate in Israel. The vote, which was conducted by secret ballot, had 23 in favor, 17 against, and 5 abstentions.

We commend the students who worked tirelessly to defeat the resolution despite challenging circumstances. With the support of Hillel at the University of Michigan and its committed staff, along with numerous campus partners, the students were well-prepared and argued against divestment with utmost conviction and dignity. We applaud the students for their hard work and dedication.

At this moment, it is important to clarify the implications of such a resolution. This action by CSG is largely symbolic as it has no bearing on the University and its investment strategy. Since 2002, pro-divestment activists at the University of Michigan have failed 10 times to pass similar resolutions. The passage of the resolution reflects the advocacy of a small and vocal group of students who made this their priority issue. These activists took advantage of conditions on campus favorable to their cause as they conflated divestment with other popular social justice causes. The current CSG is made up of representatives who are more sympathetic to the pro-divestment position than in the past. Additionally, CSG actions during the course of the debate last night impacted the outcome of the debate, including denying U of M History professor Victor Lieberman the opportunity to speak and conducting the vote by secret ballot.

We denounce this resolution as counterproductive to advancing thoughtful and informed dialogue on campus. Furthermore, while we appreciate the statement this morning from the University clarifying its investment strategy, we call upon the University administration to unequivocally repudiate what is a deeply divisive and biased response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The resolution will only sow deeper division between students and it does nothing to advance the peaceful resolution of a conflict thousands of miles away from campus. We are concerned about the impact that it could have on Jewish students on campus who have deep ties to Israel.

The Metro Detroit Jewish community will continue to stand with pro-Israel students as they work to advance productive dialogue at the University of Michigan.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events
May
22

FEDERATION AWARDS NIGHT

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 | 7:00pm The Berman Center for the Performing Arts Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield, MI 48322 Dessert reception following | Dietary laws observed 2018 Awardees Mark-Lis Family Young Leadership Award Joshua Goldberg Frank A. Wetsman Young Leadership Award Adam Finkel Sylvia Simon Greenberg Young […]

Sign Up
2018 Signature Event featuring Susie Essman
May
29

The Signature Event

FEATURING SUSIE ESSMAN: Susie Essman has been traveling and appearing at clubs throughout the country for more than two decades. Much of her comedy draws from her Jewish background. Susie began her career as a working comic, catching the eye of Larry David who cast her in her now iconic role of the strong-willed and […]

Sign Up
May
30

Challah Back! A Tour & Baking Workshop @ Avalon Bakehouse

Wednesday, May 30th | Time: 5:30 pm Avalon Bakehouse 4731 Bellevue Detroit, MI 48207 What’s better than the smell of freshly baked bread at Avalon? The smell of freshly baked bread that YOU baked at Avalon, that’s what! Join NEXTGen Detroit for a behind-the-scenes tour of Detroit’s famous Avalon Bakehouse. Meet Avalon co-owner and community […]

Sign Up
Crisis Management Training
May
31

Crisis Management Training

Crisis Management and Disaster Planning Thursday, May 31, 2018, 9am – 3pm (Registration starts at 8:00am) Temple Beth El, 7400 Telegraph Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301 No Cost to Attend | Lunch Provided If your agency, synagogue, or house-of-worship had an active assailant, a missing child, a kidnapping, or any other critical incident, how would […]

Sign Up