Walsh University President to Sign Statement Against Anti-Semitism with Joint Coalition

Walsh University President to Sign Statement Against Anti‑Semitism with Joint Coalition, Urges Others to Reject Racism

Walsh University President Tim Collins will join other Catholic university presidents in signing a joint statement of solidarity denouncing anti-Semitism in all forms, committing to combatting hatred of the Jewish people, and urging Catholic ecclesia and lay leaders, parents, teachers, professors, and public servants to fearlessly confront anti-Semitism. The statement, in part, specifies that the signees reject hatred, bigotry and racism in all their forms.

“As Catholics, we believe that anti-Semitism is, at its core, a spiritual evil,” said Dr. Collins.

“What does the responsibility of citizenry demand of us now in this tragedy?” Dr. Collins asks. “Certainty and conviction – the Israeli’s have a moral right to national defense and the moral duty to resist and punish any attempts to engage in the eradication of the Jewish nation. The acts of Hamas last weekend are, in every way, immoral.”

The upcoming statement signing will be the culmination of a previously planned three-day conference on the Future of Catholic-Jewish Relations at a Time of Rising Anti-Semitism. President Collins said the conference can’t come soon enough.

“What’s going on in Israel today and other places in the world is diabolic,” Dr. Collins said. “We condemn this evil and denounce those that either ignore or seek to justify unthinkable acts of barbaric behavior against Jews in Israel. We are a Catholic institution founded in the Judeo-Christian tradition and our interfaith fellowship bonds us together. What happened in Israel is indefensible. These acts were not perpetrated by militants … these are terrorists targeting innocent civilians. The damage inflicted is reprehensible. Sadly, the Jewish people have historically been beleaguered with this type of hatred. It must end.”

Walsh University has a long tradition of friendship, collaboration, and scholarship with the Jewish community, including the Institute of Jewish Catholic Studies and The Wilkof Jewish Study Project bringing scholars and lectures to campus to promote good will. The Lifelong Learning Academy, under the direction for a decade of Rabbi John Spitzer, was a series which introduced additional scholars and lectures from the Muslim community as well as the Jewish and Christian communities to offering free interfaith lectures. Today, the tradition continues with the Education for Life Colloquium and interfaith lecture series in partnership with Temple Israel and Rabbi David Komerofsky with an interfaith upcoming event on the value and meaning of Jewish and Catholic traditions planned for November 9, 2023 - which is always free and open to the public.

Barbara Turkeltaub, the only remaining Holocaust survivor in Stark County, Ohio, has visited the campus often to educate others on the dangers of hatred and anti-Semitism. She was presented with the Founder’s Award, an award inspired by The Venerable Jean Marie de la Mennais of Walsh’s founding order the Brothers of Christian Instruction, for her dedication to social justice and the promotion of human welfare.

Walsh University has often honored notable members of the Jewish community, including 1986 Nobel Laureate and author Elie Weisel who survived the Holocaust at the concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland. Weisel visited Walsh College shortly after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize to deliver a speech promoting peace, participate in community forums with staff, students and members of the community and receive an honorary doctorate degree.

“The sacredness of life and the equal intrinsic transcendent dignity of all human persons is under attack today, globally and in Ohio. We hold a deeply rooted Catholic conviction that citizens have an ethical responsibility to speak out against grave injustices. At this inflection point in our world, we encourage men and women of good will to stand with us alongside the Jewish community in this time of calamity and denounce anti-Semitism and racism in all forms,” Dr. Collins said.

The statement signing is planned for October 24 at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.