Samuel Heilman - Controversy

Controversy

After Heilman's publication of Sliding to the Right: The Contest for the Future of American Jewish Orthodoxy, Dr. Marvin Schick, a former political-science professor at Hunter College, dedicated his weekly article in the Jewish Week to the book, calling it "nonsense and offensive." Schick further asserted that Heilman "detests much of the Orthodox community" and that this influences the objectivity of his scholarship. In 1996 Heilman was quoted in the press as opposing the appointment of Thomas Bird as head of the Jewish Studies department at Queens College. A major controversy erupted when Heilman's opposition spilled over into the media. Most of Heilman's colleagues opposed his position, and he was criticized by the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League. Leon Wieseltier, literary editor for the New Republic also criticized Heilman for "behaving like a tribalist."Queens College President Allen Sessoms also criticized Heilman, but subsequently appointed the late Dr. Benny Kraut, an Orthodox Jew, as head of the program.

In October 2012, Ami magazine published an extensive cover article and interview with Professor Heilman. The article and interview investigated Heilman and his methods and reported finding "gaps in his knowledge of Jewish matters", and pointed out Heilman's "outright distortions". The article examined a number of obvious mis-transalations, the resulting mistaken conclusions that Heilman adopts, and accuses him of "extremely negative and often false statements..."

Read more about this topic:  Samuel Heilman

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