Reed College’s student body president, Lucas Binion, is in hot water after he sent an email to Reed’s 1400 students titled “Hasidic Jews are like the Jewish version of ISIS.”
The email, which was nothing more than a student body update, had the inexplicable title because, Binion says, he crowd-sources “catchy” titles from his friends, and used this one “thoughtlessly.” Binion apologized in a second email, just two and a half hours after the first reached students’ inboxes, but the damage had already been done.
“Often I solicit titles from my friends, and the quote from the title of [the previous email] was one of the sort,” Binion wrote to his fellow students in apology. “I apologize — profusely and extensively — [sic] though I know the repercussions of my thoughtless actions will not be so easily or maybe ever remedied. I have no other words, I am sorry.”
Reed College, which is a sister of Lewis & Clark College, has a reputation for being inclusive, and has a sizable Hasidic population, which was hosting prospective students for a visit when Binion’s email came through. One of the leaders, Samantha Nunberg, says she emailed a response to Binion, asking that he send it to the full student body. He refused, so she posted it to Facebook.
The co-directors of Reed’s Chabad — an organization for Hasidic Jewish students — told the student newspaper, The Pioneer Log, that the email was a prime example of how liberal college campuses have become illiberal echo chambers.
“As a community I think it’s time to question our ‘Liberal Safe Haven,’” Chabad leader Rabbi Dov Bialo said. “Do we really love everybody, or do we get away with that claim by surrounding ourselves with similar minded people? Do we really call out ‘evil’ when we see it, or do we only call out those things that are ‘in style’ to call out?”