Saturday, May 12, 2007

Statement of Support from Dr. Bernard Steinberg, Director of Harvard Hillel

Dr. Steinberg just sent us a letter of support:
I am writing to support the Stand for Security Campaign and students who ask: Does not this great university have the fiscal, political, and moral resources to guarantee that the people who protect our students earn a decent wage? Legalistic or bureaucratic answers, evasions of responsibility, have not been (nor will be) convincing because the fundamental question is moral. Such moral questions are not abstract.

In the Jewish tradition, justice and compassion, not to be confused with the concept of justice or the concept of compassion, express our ability to recognize and respond to living people with whom we are connected. What is at stake is our response-ability, with heart and body, to enable the dignity of our fellow members of the Harvard community with whom students interact daily on a face-to-face basis.

Isaiah, a Jewish teacher who lived in the 7th century BCE, cried out to the people of Jerusalem: “You oppress all your workers!” and implored: “Share your bread with the hungry; take the poor into your home, and do not ignore your own kin.”

We at Harvard must take care of our own, of our people who care for the lives of our students.

Bernie Steinberg, Director, Harvard Hillel