Barnard College tried to get Jews to violate their religion

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ASPartOfMe
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15 Sep 2021, 9:29 am

Barnard abandons plan requiring Jewish students to use technology on Rosh Hashanah

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Barnard College told observant Jewish students that the school’s COVID-19 protocols required them to use technology on Rosh Hashanah before quickly reversing course, according to emails obtained by the Forward.

Hours before the holiday began Monday evening, an email arrived in Jewish students’ inboxes: “We recognize that how you have practiced religious traditions in the past may not align with the use of technology during the high holy days or the Sabbath, but this year it is paramount for the community’s health and safety (as well as your own) that you abide by the Barnard pledge and follow the College’s policies and procedures,” wrote Cynthia Yang, head of Barnard’s pandemic response team.

“The campus communities that intersect at Barnard and Columbia cannot wait until Wednesday night for students to report symptoms or respond to a notification of a positive test,” Yang added. “The chain of transmission can only be shortened when individuals act responsively and quickly.”

But 90 minutes later Yang sent a second email to the same group apologizing and announcing a new system that would allow observant students to alert Barnard staff if they had symptoms of the coronavirus without using technology, which is generally prohibited under Jewish law during Shabbat and major Jewish holidays. The emails were sent to students who had earlier identified themselves as Shabbat-observant to Barnard’s housing department.

Yang said in her second email that the initial plan was “written in haste.”

She said that observant students living on campus would receive an unsealed envelope with stickers that they could place on their door during the holiday if they had symptoms or needed attention from staff.

The email said that the sticker plan was arranged with Yonah Hain, the rabbi of Columbia-Barnard Hillel.

Bernard is the sister college of Columbia University.

We will see if Yang gets fired. I hope she does not get cancelled. She apologized or was told to apologize pretty quickly.

As far as I know no other religious group that has been sent emails telling them to violate their religious laws for COVID safety. I suspect that if it does occur that campus official would be cancelled. I hope I am being paranoid.


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Fnord
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15 Sep 2021, 9:48 am

[opinion=mine]

I hope this is a case wherein intent actually counts.  I mean, if her intent favored the health and safety of all the people on campus, then maybe she should be granted a pass (with a warning);  but if her intent was to persecute people of a specific race or religion, then she should be immediately dismissed.

[/opinion]



slam_thunderhide
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17 Sep 2021, 6:58 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Barnard abandons plan requiring Jewish students to use technology on Rosh Hashanah
Quote:
Barnard College told observant Jewish students that the school’s COVID-19 protocols required them to use technology on Rosh Hashanah before quickly reversing course, according to emails obtained by the Forward.

Hours before the holiday began Monday evening, an email arrived in Jewish students’ inboxes: “We recognize that how you have practiced religious traditions in the past may not align with the use of technology during the high holy days or the Sabbath, but this year it is paramount for the community’s health and safety (as well as your own) that you abide by the Barnard pledge and follow the College’s policies and procedures,” wrote Cynthia Yang, head of Barnard’s pandemic response team.

“The campus communities that intersect at Barnard and Columbia cannot wait until Wednesday night for students to report symptoms or respond to a notification of a positive test,” Yang added. “The chain of transmission can only be shortened when individuals act responsively and quickly.”

But 90 minutes later Yang sent a second email to the same group apologizing and announcing a new system that would allow observant students to alert Barnard staff if they had symptoms of the coronavirus without using technology, which is generally prohibited under Jewish law during Shabbat and major Jewish holidays. The emails were sent to students who had earlier identified themselves as Shabbat-observant to Barnard’s housing department.

Yang said in her second email that the initial plan was “written in haste.”

She said that observant students living on campus would receive an unsealed envelope with stickers that they could place on their door during the holiday if they had symptoms or needed attention from staff.

The email said that the sticker plan was arranged with Yonah Hain, the rabbi of Columbia-Barnard Hillel.

Bernard is the sister college of Columbia University.

We will see if Yang gets fired. I hope she does not get cancelled. She apologized or was told to apologize pretty quickly.


Perhaps you think you are taking the reasonable, centrist position here, but as far as I'm concerned this lady Cynthia Yang doesn't even have anything to apologize for. All she was asking was for Jews to follow the same guidelines as everyone else.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
As far as I know no other religious group that has been sent emails telling them to violate their religious laws for COVID safety. I suspect that if it does occur that campus official would be cancelled. I hope I am being paranoid.


Perhaps no other religious group has been sent such emails because other religious groups do not have practices that conflict with current COVID safety guidelines.



ASPartOfMe
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17 Sep 2021, 10:01 am

slam_thunderhide wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Barnard abandons plan requiring Jewish students to use technology on Rosh Hashanah
Quote:
Barnard College told observant Jewish students that the school’s COVID-19 protocols required them to use technology on Rosh Hashanah before quickly reversing course, according to emails obtained by the Forward.

Hours before the holiday began Monday evening, an email arrived in Jewish students’ inboxes: “We recognize that how you have practiced religious traditions in the past may not align with the use of technology during the high holy days or the Sabbath, but this year it is paramount for the community’s health and safety (as well as your own) that you abide by the Barnard pledge and follow the College’s policies and procedures,” wrote Cynthia Yang, head of Barnard’s pandemic response team.

“The campus communities that intersect at Barnard and Columbia cannot wait until Wednesday night for students to report symptoms or respond to a notification of a positive test,” Yang added. “The chain of transmission can only be shortened when individuals act responsively and quickly.”

But 90 minutes later Yang sent a second email to the same group apologizing and announcing a new system that would allow observant students to alert Barnard staff if they had symptoms of the coronavirus without using technology, which is generally prohibited under Jewish law during Shabbat and major Jewish holidays. The emails were sent to students who had earlier identified themselves as Shabbat-observant to Barnard’s housing department.

Yang said in her second email that the initial plan was “written in haste.”

She said that observant students living on campus would receive an unsealed envelope with stickers that they could place on their door during the holiday if they had symptoms or needed attention from staff.

The email said that the sticker plan was arranged with Yonah Hain, the rabbi of Columbia-Barnard Hillel.

Bernard is the sister college of Columbia University.

We will see if Yang gets fired. I hope she does not get cancelled. She apologized or was told to apologize pretty quickly.


Perhaps you think you are taking the reasonable, centrist position here, but as far as I'm concerned this lady Cynthia Yang doesn't even have anything to apologize for. All she was asking was for Jews to follow the same guidelines as everyone else.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
As far as I know no other religious group that has been sent emails telling them to violate their religious laws for COVID safety. I suspect that if it does occur that campus official would be cancelled. I hope I am being paranoid.


Perhaps no other religious group has been sent such emails because other religious groups do not have practices that conflict with current COVID safety guidelines.

In the America of 2021 arguing against cancel culture is not considered centrist but alt right or enabling alt right which is considered a worse sin.

I do not know the details of every religion but I am sure others have rules that conflict with Covid guidelines. Muslims fast all day for Ramadan. That has to weaken immune systems thus helping COVID spread. As far as I know there are no guidelines prohibiting that because it is understood that there would be serious repercussions for anybody that proposes that. While not a religious group all sorts of “accommodations” were made for BLM groups not following rules prohibiting large gatherings.

I don’t think Yang did this out of bigotry towered Jews but out of lack of understanding. That is why I do not think she should be fired. She works for a school with a large percentage of observant Jews it is her job to educate herself about the demographic that helps pay her salary. By commission and omission people other then observant Jews are not following those guidelines but the email was sent only to Jewish students. Those guidelines she was telling them to violate was not any old rules. Those holy days are the most important on the Jewish calendar. Also considering 20th century history and the recent spike in anti semitic attacks in the New York area it is not surprising Jews would feel targeted.

At the end a way was found that lets students notify the proper authorities they are experiencing COVID symptoms without violating their religious beliefs. This could have and should have been done beforehand.


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17 Sep 2021, 6:45 pm

reminds me of tge anecdote in Richard Feynman's memoirs, in which hets asked whether electriciry is fire, so the Rabbi's can determine whether it's acceptable to use on Shabbath.
The episode ends with one of the most brilliant humans of the 20th century just shaking his head over the anachronisms in his religion.


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