In the coming days, the University will announce a revamped Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Anti-Semitism, Slifka Center Rabbi James Ponet ’68 wrote in an email to undisclosed recipients Friday afternoon.

After this month’s decision to end the program, which prompted criticism from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League and in columns in several publications, Ponet said in the email that several tenured professors expressed interested in leading the study of anti-Semitism at Yale in a revised form.

Ponet also encouraged supporters to send emails to University President Richard Levin and Provost Peter Salovey in favor of the “reconceived YIISA.”

Read the email below:

Dear Friend,

I write to share with you my sense of what is presently happening on campus in regards to the announced decision by Yale a little over 2 weeks ago to terminate the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism.

As we all know, there was a loud outpouring of reaction on the part of students, faculty and alumni around the world. Among those protesting the University’s decision were a number of tenured professors who have now stepped forward and indicated their willingness to take on a leadership role in a reformulated program that will continue the scholarly study of Antisemitism at Yale.

I think that within a few days Yale will announce that a reconceived YIISA, under new faculty leadership, has been established. I believe this new structure, now emerging, will serve Yale and the study of Antisemitism well. Encouraging words to the administration in support of this approach can only help – if you feel moved to send such encouragement, I suggest emails to the President and the Provost:,

Best and Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi E. James Ponet ’68

Howard M. Holtzmann Jewish Chaplain at Yale