Kushner Affair Puts Israel Dissent At Center Stage

CUNY restores playwright’s honorary degree, but questions linger over boundaries of acceptable debate.
Jewish Week Correspondent

One is the child of Holocaust survivors who grew up in the South Bronx. The other is the son of professional musicians who spent most of his childhood in Lake Charles, La.

Two Jewish worldviews collide: Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, left, and Tony Kushner.

Tony Kushner to Receive CUNY Honorary Degree After All


(JTA) -- Trustees of the City University of New York's approved an honorary degree for playwright Tony Kushner, reversing an earlier decision.

The executive committee of the CUNY board of trustees voted Monday night to award Kushner an honorary doctorate during commencement ceremonies next month. The committee can reverse decisions of the full board.

Tony, Toni, Tone: An Intelligent Guide to the Kushner Affair

It isn't the best week for Tony Kushner. Earlier this week he was waylaid CUNY's board of trustees, after a right-wing Israel supporter who sits on the board convinced the school to rescind an honorary degree because of the playwright's criticism of Israel (first, I say with admittedly churlish pride, reported by my Jewish Week colleague, Doug Chandler). 

The Kushner affair: what kind of pro-Israel movement do we want?

In view of the furor over CUNY's decision to revoke an invitation to playwright Tony Kushner to receive an honorary degree, first reported in the Jewish Week, I would just ask this: what kind of pro-Israel movement do we want?

CUNY Reverses Course On Tony Kushner Honor

Board chairman calls for executive committee meeting, acknowledging a “mistake of principle.”
Jewish Week Correspondent

Following an avalanche of protest against its decision Monday night to block an honorary degree for playwright Tony Kushner, the City University of New York board of trustees will reconsider its action in an executive committee meeting on Monday, May 9.

CUNY officials scheduled the meeting after receiving a statement from the board’s chairman, Benno Schmidt, saying that the body had made “a mistake of principal, and not merely of policy,” in voting to table the honorary degree.

CUNY Board Nixes Honorary Degree For Playwright Tony Kushner

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s Israel views presumably behind rare move.
Special To The Jewish Week

Updated Wednesday, May 4, 5 p.m.: Today playwright Tony Kushner responded to the CUNY board of trustees. Read his letter here.

In what is believed to be a rare move, the City University of New York has turned down a request by one of its colleges to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner at its commencement ceremony this spring, The Jewish Week has learned.

Tony Kushner

Righting The CUNY Ship

Associate Editor

If the sites of New Yorkís harbor symbolized the end of a passage and the beginning of a promise for generations of Jewish immigrants, then the portals of City College epitomized Americaís promise to the immigrantsí children.City College ó and later the entire City University of New York ó became so entwined with Jewish academic glory that it may come as a surprise that CUNYís first-year chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, is the first Jew, let alone the first CUNY graduate, to rise to its highest office.Goldstein, 58, came through CUNY ó City Col

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