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December 06, 2002 - Image 61

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-12-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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from page 59

"Unfortunately, on many campuses
there are others who are often mar-
ginalized, including African
Americans, Hispanics and gay and
lesbian students. Singling out Jewish
students and Zionists for support as
is suggested in the pledge is too
exclusive. The statement should have
been much broader," he said.
"It is not that I am unsympathetic.
I support Jewish student activities.
But as a university president, I am
here for Jewish students and others
as well," Bacow said.
In 2000-2001, Tufts had 8,458
full-time equivalent students
enrolled, of which approximately 27
percent were estimated to be Jewish.
Among those who also declined to
sign the statement was Harvard's
Summers.
Leaders in Tufts' Jewish, Muslim
and Arab communities praised
Bacow's decision, saying that the
statement divides communities in a
time when they should be uniting.
Among those who publicly applaud-
ed his stance were Hillel, the
Muslim Student Association, the
Arab Student Association and the
Middle East Student Association, as
well as the Tufts Daily in an editori-
al.
Said Bacow: "I was told by an
African-American professor on our
faculty that Martin Luther King Jr.,
speaking on that very issue, captured
the essence when he said, 'We
should not attempt to prioritize inci-
dents of injustice because injustice
anywhere is injustice everywhere.'

In Good Company

Although Bacow is the first Jewish
president of Tufts, he downplays any
novelty in his appointment.
"In our athletic conference, there
are four Jewish presidents. It is a
non-issue," Bacow said. However,
when he was selected, Bacow con-
cedes, "I did, get some truly heart-
warming notes from alumni of Tufts.
One wrote, 'I thought I'd never live
to see the day Tufts had a Jewish
president," he said.
Bacow continues to reflect his
Jewish values. When the Bacows
moved into the president's house on
campus, they put mezuzot on the
doorposts with five rabbis present
for the ceremony.
"We keep a kosher home," Bacow
said. "The trustees meet on Friday
afternoon, and we have dinner

Friday evening."
Tufts has several Jewish trustees
and renowned author Sol Gittleman
recently retired as provost after 21
years to return to the classroom.
Said Hillel's Rabbi Summit, "At a
recent Chaplain's Table program,
Larry spoke about the importance of
Shabbat and how necessary it is to
establish a place of peace in busy
lives. Students from a range of reli-
gious traditions were touched by his
thoughtful reflections and the way
he applied the wisdom of the Jewish
tradition to contemporary life."
Tufts' First Lady, Adele Fleet
Bacow, a native of Jacksonville, Fla;,
has impressive credentials of her
own. She graduated from Wellesley
(Mass.) College and later earned her
master's in city planning at MIT. She
is president of Community Partners
Consultants Inc., which specializes
in community economic develop-
ment.
Like her husband, she is an
author; between them, they have five
published books. She was formerly
director of design and development
for the Massachusetts Council on
Arts and Humanities and deputy
director of the Massachusetts
Government Land Bank.
The Bacows have two sons. Jay,
22, graduated from MIT last June
and Kenny, 20, is a junior at the
University of Pennsylvania, where he
attends the Wharton School of
Finance.
Lawrence Bacow has been a visit-
ing professor at Hebrew University
of Jerusalem and served as an adviser
to the Israel Environmental
Pfotection Service and to the Cross
Israel Highway Commission. He is
on the board of directors of the
Jewish Community Housing for the
Elderly, founded in Boston in 1965,
and a trustee of Hebrew College in
Boston. He served on the board of
MIT Hillel from 1995-98.
Phillip A. Sharp is a Bacow friend
from his MIT days. Bacow joined
the MIT faculty in 1977 and was
chancellor from 1998-2001. Sharp,
who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in
Medicine, is director of the
McGovern Institute for Brain
Research-Center for Cancer Research
at MIT.
"Larry is wonderful, a person with
great integrity, energy and vision,"
Sharp said. "He helped lead MIT as
a chancellor and is now recognized
as one of the most promising univer-
sity presidents in the country. Tufts
is very fortunate to have him." ❑

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