Emory will apologize for anti-Semitism at its dental school

Emory University is finally acknowledging appalling discrimination against Jewish students who attended its dental school between 1948 to 1961.

The Jewish students were ordered to leave the school by the dean, who maintained that they had failed the classes.  Soon, hardly any Jewish students attended the dental school, which had an application that required applicants to check off  “Caucasian, Jew or Other.”

The saga of bias at the Emory dental school is now a documentary “From Silence to Recognition.”  Emory will premiere the film tomorrow evening.

Earlier in the day, the university will do something long overdue: President James Wagner will apologize to former students at the dental school.

In an interview with The New York Times this week, one of those students, Perry Brickman, described the shame and anger that he and others felt:

Mr. Brickman was mystified. He had been a B-plus student in biology as an Emory undergraduate and had earned early admission to dental school. He had never failed a course in his life.

Over the next few weeks of that summer, Mr. Brickman found out that three of his classmates had also been failed. All of them happened to be Jewish. Yet instead of fighting back, Mr. Brickman and his friends searched for other dental schools and swallowed a shame that lasted decades.

“Your parents said, ‘Why didn’t you work harder?’ ” Mr. Brickman, 80, recalled recently. “My mother said, ‘What have you done to me?’ It was almost like being a rape victim. No one believed us. It couldn’t be this one-sided story. Emory was a great university, right? So we went off with the tail between our legs.”

Here is a release today from the Anti-Defamation League about the Wednesday events:

The Anti-Defamation League today commended Emory University and President James Wagner for acknowledging for the first time that Emory’s now defunct dental school discriminated against Jewish students for more than 13 years, from 1948 to 1961.

President Wagner will apologize for the practice in a private meeting this week with many of the former students who were told they had flunked out of the school despite grades that qualified them to continue their studies.

In 1961, when Atlanta ADL staff member Art Levin presented to University officials information that confirmed the anti-Semitic policy, the Dental School dean resigned his post. But the university denied there was a connection between the two events, and subsequently has refused to acknowledge the anti-Semitic practice.

“We are grateful to President Wagner for his willingness to acknowledge and apologize for a policy that has haunted many of the Jewish students for decades. In many cases, they came to doubt their own abilities, were viewed as failures by parents and friends, and had to rethink careers, all because the dental school dean at the time did not want Jews studying in his school,” said Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of ADL.

ADL praised Atlanta dentist Dr. Perry Brickman, a victim of the discriminatory policy, whose continuing research into the policy sparked the apology that will be issued on Wednesday evening. Brickman tracked down and interviewed many former students who’d been victims of the policy, and produced a documentary which will be shown in a public gathering at Emory Wednesday evening.

“Perry Brickman’s passionate pursuit of justice for all the students who faced this disgraceful and damaging anti-Semitic policy was a powerful catalyst in the University’s decision to at last confront this disgraceful episode from the past,” Nigut said. “We are so happy for Perry that his years of effort have been rewarded.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

48 comments Add your comment

Beverly Fraud

October 9th, 2012
3:01 pm

“Perry Brickman’s passionate pursuit of justice for all the students who faced this disgraceful and damaging anti-Semitic policy was a powerful catalyst in the University’s decision to at last confront this disgraceful episode from the past,” Nigut said. “We are so happy for Perry that his years of effort have been rewarded.”

I’ll second that!

redweather

October 9th, 2012
3:22 pm

I read this story when it appeared in the New York Times and it made me sick. Somehow an apology just doesn’t seem enough.

mystery poster

October 9th, 2012
3:27 pm

To paraphrase Joe Friday:
This apology and 10 cents will get me a cup of coffee.

Karen Hill

October 9th, 2012
3:39 pm

A minimal start would be a refund of application, tuition, books and other expenses these students wasted at Emory, plus application fees and moving expenses to other schools. All with accumulated interest.

jarvis

October 9th, 2012
3:53 pm

Emory has been apologizing a lot lately.

SunnyBoy

October 9th, 2012
4:09 pm

An apology along with some sort of endowment fund or scholarship to acknowledge the Jewish dental students who suffered unjustly.

JustShockedOrNOT

October 9th, 2012
4:18 pm

Most of these schools are still just a haven for hate and discrimination; just look around campus.

Just Shocked or NOT

Hillbilly D

October 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

I believe this Dr Brickman is the same one who took out my wisdom teeth, all those years ago. If it is him, he made a damn fine dentist.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

October 9th, 2012
4:52 pm

As well it should.

Bella

October 9th, 2012
4:52 pm

I worked for the School of Medicine back in the 1980s….we had COLOR CODED files for Emory Medical School applicants…..heard it was for “quotas.” I thought it was sketchy.

Woofy One

October 9th, 2012
5:09 pm

Emory has not been the shining star it has claimed for years. The culture of integrity is lacking.
http://www.amazon.com/Waking-Up-Blind-Lawsuits-Surgery/dp/1934938874

what_what

October 9th, 2012
6:11 pm

Was just going to recommend the amazing Emory read “Waking up Blind”. I see a fine citizen beat me to it. Well played, sir.

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
6:51 pm

Many “facts” in this story don’t add up:

“Emory’s now defunct dental school discriminated against Jewish students for more than 13 years, from 1948 to 1961.”
“In 1961, when Atlanta ADL staff member Art Levin presented to University officials information that confirmed the anti-Semitic policy, the Dental School dean resigned his post.”

If the ADL had the “evidence”, then why didn’t the students sue? Or did they. Or was the policy “reinterpreted” because Emory, at that time, was a private Methodist (Christian) University. It still has the Candler School of Theology. If all this supposedly happened back in 1961, why drag this out in 2012, when all involved are long gone? Is Emory still being accused of this practice today? If there was enough evidence in 1961, the students should have sued, and if there was convincing evidence of wrong doing, the courts would have awarded compensation. Again, SO WHY DRAG THIS UP NOW?

Also, Maureen’s account does not make it clear exactly what the students flunked. First, she says they had earned early admission to dental school. Then, “The Jewish students were ordered to leave the school by the dean, who maintained that they had failed the classes.” Exactly what classes were they, and in what year of dental school did this occur? This alleged order given by the dean, was it school policy that ANY student who flunks, must leave campus? Or do they claim this was done only to Jews?

Coincidentally, my uncle attended Emory Dental School after returning from a Nazi Germany concentration camp, where he was imprisoned for four years after being shot down in his war plane over North Africa. He would have been a student there during this time. I don’t recall Bill Nigut or the ADL ever sending him a letter of “thanks”………

jlmdra

October 9th, 2012
7:53 pm

As we learned from the U.S. News and World Report ranking scandal, Emory University is literally overrated. Their failure to investigate whether there was similar corruption in the information supplied about its graduate schools speaks to their insincere concern with integrity. Emory University is a moral and ethical vacuum.

jlmdra

October 9th, 2012
8:02 pm

From a review of “Waking Up Blind”: A distinguished ophthalmologist and clinical professor at Emory, Tom Harbin provides the authoritative account of the rise and rise of Dwight Cavanagh. Performing eye surgeries in impressive numbers, Cavanagh made himself into a money machine for Emory. Not only did the institution receive reimbursement for the procedures; Cavanagh was also adept at winning grants. The whole department prospered. The University built state-of-the art facilities. Everybody seemed to win. Cavanagh was the ophthalmological equivalent of a rock star.

Except that whispers began to spread about whether the patients really needed all those operations. In one case, Cavanagh operated on the wrong eye, blinding a poor man who hadn’t clearly needed surgery in the first place. After too many operations on too many borderline patients, the hard-working, honest physicians alongside Cavanagh finally mustered the courage to question the rock star’s practices. Cynically, the Emory administration closed ranks, and it was the honest critics whose careers were stunted.”

The above is from a review by Horace Nalle on Amazon.com

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
9:01 pm

Fantasy Headlines:
“Maureen will apologize for anti-Christianism at the Roman Forum: Roman ancestor, Emperor Nero, falsely accused innocent Christians for setting fire; many suffered persecution and death.”

New Age Neo-pagan Druids will apologize for anti-Christianism in Ireland, and torture and enslavement of St Patrick, Christian missionary and Apostle.

jlmdra

October 9th, 2012
9:30 pm

At fine institutions, cream rises to the top. At Emory, steatorrheic stools rise to the top.

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
9:41 pm

“As we learned from the U.S. News and World Report ranking scandal”

Is this a joke? A leftist rag comes up with a questionable “ranking” system, (a completely commercial enterprise, I might add), and Emory “games” their “game”, just like many other schools, and this is evidence of a “scandal?”
The better measure of a college is the success of its graduates, and the school endowment.
BTW, guess who owns “U.S. News and World Report?”
http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/15530/opposition-grows-to-publisherchairing-top-jewish-organization/

Lee

October 9th, 2012
9:52 pm

Silly Jew. You weren’t being discriminated against. Emory was merely practicing Affirmative Action for Gentiles.

I mean, as long as we call it “Affirmative Action”, discrimination is okay, isn’t it?

Fred ™

October 9th, 2012
9:56 pm

Ya’ll peeples is funny. Check out the Jewish enrollment at Emory. Check out the Jewish employment at Emory. Emory is jokingly know amongst it’s Jewish alumni and students as “Jew U,” despite the *fact* it’s Methodist.

Folks just got too much jealousy and hate in their hearts……..

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
9:58 pm

I guess you could say the same about Harvard…..the latter comment, that is.

“Summers also served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard’s president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty that resulted in large part from Summers’s conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a “different availability of aptitude at the high end,” and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization.
Summers has also been criticized for the economic policies he advocated as Treasury Secretary and in later writings.[3] In 2009, he was tapped by President Obama to be the director of the White House National Economic Council.[2][4]”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Summers

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
10:33 pm

“Folks just got too much jealousy and hate in their hearts……..”

Quit being anti-semitic. If you lived in Germany, they could throw you in jail…….

Archie

October 9th, 2012
10:41 pm

@Fred: A college or university’s denominational affiliation these days, really doesn’t say a lot about the makeup of the people that work there or the students that go there.

Curt Selak

October 9th, 2012
11:08 pm

Regarding the comment that reads: ‘Silly Jew. You weren’t being discriminated against. Emory was merely practicing Affirmative Action for Gentiles.

I mean, as long as we call it “Affirmative Action”, discrimination is okay, isn’t it?’

What I think you’re referring to is something to do with historical precedent. If you wish to draw parallels with contemporary efforts to remedy the consequences of past discrimination, it’s not really for anyone to stop you. The phrase that I do not recommend is “Affirmative Action for Gentiles”. You are in a better position to get your point across if you assume that your readers have heard of numerus clausus.

I worked at Borders for a very long time and as recently as five years ago, coworkers were forced by other coworkers to adhere to a “gentleman’s agreement” that required that they not work with me at certain tasks, such as special orders or music retailing. Obviously, I am of the view that Dr. Brickman and his colleagues in dentistry are doing the right thing by speaking out.

jlmdra

October 9th, 2012
11:09 pm

It’s not the Jews at Emory University who are ethically challenged. It’s all the good ol’ boys who run the place.

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
11:47 pm

I agree. If Emory ever gets the chance, they should bring in one of the Wall Street Boys, Jamie Dimon, to clean up the moral depravity. At least we know the endowment fund would be safe……

“That particular locality is now in bankruptcy proceedings primarily because Dimon’s bank, Chase, used middlemen to bribe local officials – literally bribe, with cash and watches and new suits – to sign on to a series of onerous interest-rate swap deals that vastly expanded the county’s debt burden.

Essentially, Jamie Dimon handed Birmingham, Alabama a Chase credit card and then bribed its local officials to run up a gigantic balance, leaving future residents and those residents’ children with the bill. As a result, the citizens of Jefferson County will now be making payments to Chase until the end of time.

Do you think Jamie Dimon would have done that deal if he lived in Jefferson County? Put it this way: if he was trying to support two kids on $30,000 a year, and lived in a Birmingham neighborhood full of people in the same boat, would he sign off on a deal that jacked up everyone’s sewer bills 400% for the next thirty years?”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/a-christmas-message-from-americas-rich-20111222#ixzz28rdvrEEv

Yes, Jamie sure showed those good ‘ole boys how its done…LOL!

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
12:37 am

Takin’ it to the Supremes:
UT Austin goes to extreme measures to “game” the U.S. News college rankings……

“Such students, UT says in its Supreme Court brief, “are, on average, more likely than their top 10% counterparts to have attended an integrated high school,” and “on average, have higher SAT scores than their top 10% counterparts”—a critical factor in boosting the university’s rank in U.S. News & World Report’s ratings.”
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443294904578044561424368452.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

NA mom

October 10th, 2012
8:43 am

“Look at the test score statistics for the White students at North Atlanta High School. They perform quite well, even when compared to the best schools of East Cobb. ”

Most of the white students at North Atlanta are in the IS/IB program.

Similarly, the black, Asian, and Hispanic students who are in the IS/IB program perform “quite well.”

Most of the school resources and the energy of the PTA are aimed at providing opportunities for the IS/IB students.

Everyone else gets ignored.

Mr. Mygrant and his staff were charged with the responsiblity of educating ALL of North Atlanta’s students and they failed.

Good riddance to them.

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
9:03 am

Regarding “numerus clausus”, it could be argued that Israel, highly subsidized by U.S. aid, has practiced this very thing from its establishment in modern times, “stacking the deck” so to speak, in favor of Jews. The nation established “right of return” to grant any Jew automatic citizenship, even if immigrating from other nations, and established that anyone born of a Jewish mother is considered a Jew. This became problematic, however, when a Jew, who converted to Christianity, wanted Israeli citizenship based on his self identity as a Jew. The big question became, “Who is a Jew? Is this an ethnicity, nationality or a religion?” In 1958, the Minister of the Interior (Achdut Haavoda) of the Labor Zionist Party issued a directive that, “any person declaring in good faith that he is a Jew, shall be registered as a Jew and no additional proof shall be required (Being Israeli, 145). In January of 1960, it was decided that religion and nationality were the same.” Michael Dearington further writes, “One must be a Jew by having a Jewish mother or by being an orthodox convert to be Jewish in nationality. The distinction between whether one is Jewish by nationality versus religion was heavily debated (and still is) in the Brother Daniel Case (1962).”Dearington further describes the case of Brother Daniel:

“Brother Daniel was born Oswald Rufeisen in Poland (1922) to Jewish parents and was an early Zionist. After being separated from his parents he used fraudulent documents that proclaimed him as a Christian. He used this forged identification to then help Jews against the Nazis. He was however caught but escaped and survived by disguising himself as a nun. Shortly after in 1945 after living as a nun and great exposure to Christianity, he converted to Christianity and changed his name to Brother Daniel. However, after the rise of the Arab-Israeli War in 1948-9, he decided due to his heritage and deeply rooted Zionist identification (despite his new religion), that he wanted to fight for the Jews. Poland would only grant him this satisfaction if he first renounced his Polish citizenship however. Afterwards, Brother Daniel of course wanted to be in the Population Registry as a Christian with Jewish nationality and thus receive automatic citizenship under the Law of Return. However the Minister of the Interior at the time (Israel Bar Yehuda) denied him this since he was in fact a Christian. Brother Daniel, dissatisfied with this response, petitioned the Supreme Court on March 13, 1962. This proposed the question are Jewish religion and nationality the same?”

Did you notice the date of his petition? “1962″ Just around the time that “Atlanta ADL staff member Art Levin presented to University officials information that confirmed the anti-Semitic policy… ”

To find out what happened to Brother Daniel, check out http://st2008.trincoll.edu/~mdearin2/Israeli%20Citizenship.htm

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
1:21 pm

More Fantasy Headlines:

“Maureen apologizes for using the inflammatory word “anti-semitism” in her blog title, since her only cited resource uses the word “bias”, and Emory website uses the word “discrimination.” She also discloses that the N.Y.T. author, Samuel G. Freedman is a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, her self-admitted alma mater. She also admits that the article never says that the school was formally charged in a court of law of such activities, even though the ADL claims it had evidence suggesting this took place in 1961.”

Craig Gilbert

October 10th, 2012
4:37 pm

Perry Brickman has done dental surgery for me and is a great dentist. His life, service to the community, and the many thoughtful kind acts for the community are beyond exemplary. He is the best of the best.

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
6:20 pm

@CG
Perhaps you can answer this. I called Emory and they couldn’t answer it and even hung up on me.
Did Dr. Brickman ever sue Emory (or settle out of court) for the alleged wrongdoing and if so, did he receive damages? That’s all I want to know. Thanks.

Fred ™

October 10th, 2012
10:57 pm

Archie

October 9th, 2012
10:41 pm

@Fred: A college or university’s denominational affiliation these days, really doesn’t say a lot about the makeup of the people that work there or the students that go there.
+++++++++++++++++++++

So tell me ARCHIE? What does what was the affiliation in 19freaking 61 and tell me how it’s apllicable TODAY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait, it’s not.

Fred ™

October 10th, 2012
10:59 pm

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
6:20 pm

@CG
Perhaps you can answer this. I called Emory and they couldn’t answer it and even hung up on me.
+++++++++++++++++++

WHO did you call? Got a name? A department? They employ more than 27,000 people here. Which one did you talk to that speaks for the University past and present? The janitor?

Fred ™

October 10th, 2012
11:01 pm

Truth in Moderation

October 9th, 2012
10:33 pm

“Folks just got too much jealousy and hate in their hearts……..”

Quit being anti-semitic. If you lived in Germany, they could throw you in jail…….
+++++++++++++++++++

That was just insipid. What in the hell did your comment have to do with anything? Godwin’s law anyone?

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
11:20 pm

I don’t talk to people that trademark their moniker. “Fred” must be a lawyer. I’ll be happy to give the details to Maureen at her email. In fact, she can try to get this info herself, talking to the same people. Perhaps they won’t hang up on her. Anyway, I’m still waiting for the answer…….

Truth in Moderation

October 10th, 2012
11:36 pm

For those that read “Fred’s” post,
truth is truth. That is the law in Germany. He should know.
As for Godwin’s Law, “Fred” is a little late to the game. The discussion already went to zero waaaaay back at my October 9th, 2012 6:51 pm post:

“Coincidentally, my uncle attended Emory Dental School after returning from a Nazi Germany concentration camp, where he was imprisoned for four years after being shot down in his war plane over North Africa. He would have been a student there during this time. I don’t recall Bill Nigut or the ADL ever sending him a letter of “thanks”………”

Unbelievably, that is a true story.

By the way, where is “Fred’s” OUTRAGE at Israel over the treatment of Brother Daniel? Oh, yeah, he’s a Christian. Definitely not on the ADL radar, I suppose.

Truth in Moderation

October 11th, 2012
1:25 am

FYI
“In Germany, fear of being labeled an anti-Semite complicates free political speech when an issue such as Israel’s bombing of Lebanon takes place. Critics of Israel state policy toe a delicate line, trying not to run afoul of Germany’s stiff laws against anti-Semitism.”
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6047204

Truth in Moderation

October 11th, 2012
9:20 am

According to the Examiner, Abe Foxman, head of the ADL, earned a salary of “over $560,000 in 2009″ from that 501c3 organization.
http://www.examiner.com/article/more-state-disgust-over-adl-christophobe-abe-foxman-s-sharia-no-worries-op-ed

CTPAT

October 11th, 2012
12:28 pm

Because it is a private entity, Emory’s actions wouldn’t have been illegal from 1948 – 1961, so there would have been no basis to file a lawsuit alleging discrimination. That doesn’t, however, make the schools systematic targeting of Jewish students in this manner any less wrong. (Note: this all occurred during the segregated south; I think plenty of people were swallowing their silence with respect to the treatment of others)

Fred ™

October 11th, 2012
3:12 pm

By the way, where is “Fred’s” OUTRAGE at Israel over the treatment of Brother Daniel? Oh, yeah, he’s a Christian. Definitely not on the ADL radar, I suppose.
+++++++++++++++++++++

Again I have no idea what you are talking about in your irrational post. Who is brother Daniel and how in the hell did Israel come into this. I’m sure this all makes sense in your irrational confused mind, but to us sane folks it’s just gibberish.

As for the “trademark?’ There is an asshat who stalked me from blog to blog and name jacked me. He isn’t smart enough to know how to do the trademark thingie, (as I doubt you are lol), so I started using it to stop the namejacker on the blog where the moderator wouldn’t stop namejacking.

It’s really quite simple “truth.” You say you called someone, I don’t believe you. You could very easily say but you won’t because you are……. well I don’t know what you are. Weird comes to mind………..

You aren’t Doc Hollywood by chance are you? If so i met you at a Bat Mitzvah………

Truth in Moderation

October 11th, 2012
4:17 pm

‘It’s really quite simple “truth.” You say you called someone, I don’t believe you.”

Praise the Lord for the NSA and President Obama’s executive orders!
My phone calls are well documented and will hold up in a court of law. Power to the people!

It happened

October 11th, 2012
6:33 pm

I’ve never felt compelled to post in response to an article, but in this case I couldn’t resist. My father was one of the few Jews who managed to graduate from the Emory dental school. I grew up hearing the about the anti-Semitism he and others suffered at the hands of the dean and faculty. I wish he had lived long enough to hear the apology.

Truth in Moderation

October 11th, 2012
6:38 pm

@CTPAT
Did you get your info from a representative of Emory?

Observer

October 12th, 2012
8:09 pm

@ Truth in Moderation. Many of your posts here seem to mock the very idea of anti-Semitism (Oct. 9, 9:01 pm, post about the “anti-Christianism” of Nero and the Druids), and then you attack Israel for no reason at all. You yourself begin to seem….well, rather anti-Semitic. In other blogs you have mentioned at length that you’re a fundamentalist Christian. Several posters here have related their own experiences with anti-Semitism at Emory. Can’t you acknowledge their pain might be real?

Aren’t you aware that Emory has also acknowledged its antebellum ties to slavery, and use of slaves to build its Oxford College? This is probably why this story is newsworthy: Emory is honest enough to face another part of its discriminatory past. And aren’t you aware how widespread anti-Semitism was in the South until fairly recently? How it was one of the enemies that the Ku Klux Klan swore to drive out, along with blacks?

Observer

October 12th, 2012
8:12 pm

“…Jews were one of the enemies that the Ku Klux Klan swore to drive out, along with blacks”

AnonMom

October 17th, 2012
9:38 am

If anyone is interested in anti-semitism; jewish/black history and the south — read up on the history of the ADL/ the Klu Klux Klan, the murder of Mary Phagan and Leo Frank — anti-semitism was stronger than the prejudice against the blacks in mainstream culture in the rush to judgment against Leo Frank in the nineteen teens in Atlanta.

AnonMom

October 17th, 2012
10:00 am

Also –The Temple was bombed in 1958 – in the midst of the dental school discrimination…. If you read Melissa Fay Greene book on the Temple Bombing — the bombing had a lot to do with Rabbi Rathschild’s support of MLK and civil rights. If you’d like another example of Atlanta’s mainstream antisemitism — read “Saturday School” about Saturday School in Decatur. There are plenty of examples.