Dear Mr. Fingerhut,
We are a group of Jewish Princeton students committed to a vision of social justice and inclusivity in our American and Jewish communities. In November of this year, you used your platform as the CEO of Hillel International to endorse Kenneth Marcus for the position of Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights. This endorsement does not represent us or our Jewish values.
A subsidiary of the Department of Education, the Office of Civil Rights is supposed to protect students from discrimination based on race, sex, abilities, age, and national origin. However, Mr. Marcus has a long history of anti-civil rights decisions. He has argued against disparate impact claims, affirmative action, and equal opportunity initiatives. Additionally, during his confirmation hearing, he refused to commit to protecting the rights of immigrant students, LGBTQ students, or students with disabilities, and expressed support for Betsy DeVos’s rescission of Title IX guidelines for schools’ responses to sexual assault.
Since his nomination, over 200 civil rights groups — including the NAACP, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Council of Jewish Women — have formally opposed his confirmation.
In February, you issued an apology for the implications of this endorsement, reaffirming Hillel International’s commitment to “have campuses be a safe place for all.” We appreciate this apology, but words are not enough. Without revoking your endorsement, you continue to support Marcus’s dangerous policies in the name of our Jewish community.
We join our peers on campuses across the country in imploring you to revoke your endorsement of Kenneth Marcus and ensure our safety and the safety of all students.
The Alliance of Jewish Progressives