Professor who quit MIT over its antisemitism response takes job at Yeshiva University

School calls itself a ‘safe haven’ in announcement on hiring of Mauricio Karchmer, weeks after he left MIT due to its handling of Jew hatred on campus after October 7

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

A pedestrian on the campus of Yeshiva University in New York City on August 30, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images, via JTA)
A pedestrian on the campus of Yeshiva University in New York City on August 30, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images, via JTA)

New York Jewish Week via JTA — A Jewish professor who resigned from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its handling of antisemitism has started teaching at New York’s Yeshiva University.

Mauricio Karchmer, a computer scientist, announced last month that he was quitting as an MIT professor after five years. He attributed his decision to the university’s response to antisemitism following Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel.

“During a time when the Jewish and Israeli students, staff and faculty were particularly vulnerable, instead of offering the support they needed, the broader MIT community exhibited open hostility towards them,” Karchmer wrote in a LinkedIn post announcing his resignation.

“Some areas of study at MIT seem to prioritize promoting a specific worldview over teaching critical thinking skills. This seems to have been institutionalized in many of MIT’s departments and programs,” Karchmer added.

Now, weeks later, Karchmer has landed at Yeshiva University, the flagship Modern Orthodox institution located in Manhattan. The move comes as Jewish and Israeli educational institutions have made a play for Jewish students in light of widespread concern about campus antisemitism.

Yeshiva University’s Friday announcement of Karchmer’s arrival referred to the school as a “safe haven.”

Mauricio Karchmer (courtesy)

The university said in a statement that the dean of Yeshiva University’s business school, Noam Wasserman, offered Karchmer a position as a visiting professor immediately after Karchmer resigned from MIT. Karchmer will start teaching two classes this week — portfolio management, and math for computer science.

“It is a privilege to welcome Dr. Karchmer to our faculty,” Yeshiva University President Ari Berman wrote on LinkedIn. “As a top tier professor in his field and a leader who lives his values with integrity and authenticity, he is a role model to us all.”

Karchmer’s resignation from MIT came weeks after a congressional hearing where MIT President Sally Kornbluth said calling for the genocide of Jews did not necessarily violate campus policies. Writing about his resignation from his “dream job” in the Free Press, Karchmer also listed other factors: He said the university had failed to issue a statement in support of Jews and Israelis after October 7, and did not respond adequately to hardline anti-Israel rhetoric during campus protests.

People chant and hold signs at a pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel rally at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 19, 2023. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP)

The week that Karchmer resigned, Kornbluth sent a message to the MIT community promising to improve how the school handled student misconduct allegations. She also vowed to ensure that the school’s new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion director addressed antisemitism and Islamophobia and said the administration would ask students “targeted questions” about their experiences with antisemitism. She wrote that she hoped to promote a new “shared understanding of the rights and responsibilities of free expression.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) president Sally Kornbluth speaks during a hearing of the US House Committee on Education on Capitol Hill, December 5, 2023 in Washington. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Karchmer taught at MIT from 1989 to 1995, then returned to the university in 2019 after working in the financial sector. He holds a PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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