Rabbi Blasts California Local for Misrepresentation

The following letter-to-the-editor by Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, Ph.D., appeared in the Jul. 26, 1999 edition of the Los Angeles Times:

“I am a supporter of members of Local 11 of [HERE] in their desire to negotiate a contract with [the Univ. of So. Cal.]… Even so I was shocked…to read that I was supposedly to be the keynote speaker at a demonstration calling on USC supporters to halt their donations to USC.

I was all the more upset by the inference that since I am vice-president of the [So. Cal.] Board of Rabbis, the board has endorsed this call for action against USC. No such decision has ever been taken by the board, and as its social action chair I am certain that no such action has ever even been contemplated.

Such a strategy is contrary to my convictions regarding how best to influence institutions… I believe that the best way to influence organizations with which we differ is to become a significant supporter and thereby develop the clout to effect change. If anything, I would urge USC supporters to increase their giving, get involved with social issues that affect the university and its extended community, and then use the added influence that significant giving provides to encourage the institution to make whatever changes best serve the values for which it stands.”