More than a dozen pro-Israel groups on the right, including the Zionist Organization of America, Z Street and the Jewish Action Alliance, are planning to protest the conferral of an honorary degree Friday to Tony Kushner — the subject of a heated controversy last month.
New York – Amid a number of calls for Jeffrey Weisenfeld to step down as trustee of the City University of New York after opposing an honorary degree for Tony Kushner, a grass-roots group of academics has come to his defense and criticized the CUNY executive board for choosing, in the end, to honor the playwright.
(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.
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).
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?
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.
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.