April 18, 2012 Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago 30 South Wells St.

Chicago, IL 60606 To the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, We are a group of faculty members at the University of Chicago, and we write to you out of profound concern as to your purported firing of the Board of Directors of the University of Chicago Hillel, which includes prominent members of the University of Chicago faculty and administration, as well as five student representatives, and your termination of the employment of Executive Director Dan Libenson. We find your actions disgraceful and unwelcome in our community. Your having taken these actions without notice on the eve of Shabbat, a week before Passover, and during the weeks when newly-admitted students are deciding which university to attend is a profoundly un-Jewish, indeed unkind, action and is in total disregard for the interests of the University of Chicago and, most importantly, the interests of our students. The Hillel that Dan Libenson and the Board have built over the past six years has surpassed what any of us believed possible and has greatly enriched the lives of the students who we serve to educate. Our Jewish students – undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students alike – are greatly enriched by their experiences at Hillel. We have watched our students participate in Birthright Israel trips, Mega Shabbat, and Jewish internships and come away from those experiences with a deeper maturity imbued with Jewish values and pride. These critical experiences did not and will not happen automatically. They happened because of the innovative leadership of Mr. Libenson. We are very worried that Jewish life on campus will suffer greatly without the leadership that built the programs that are thriving today. The disregard for our community that you showed in treating our colleagues so disrespectfully and in the timing and manner of your actions in terminating Mr. Libenson's employment -packing up his office and changing the locks on the Hillel doors after six years of award-winning and dedicated service to our community -- shocks the conscience and demonstrates your total lack of regard for the values of the University of Chicago and for the humanity of the members of our community. Frankly, we see your actions as a total abdication of Jewish values as well. As such, we hereby request in the strongest possible terms that you agree to the board’s request for mediation with the ultimate aim of restoring University of Chicago Hillel’s independence. Recent years have seen a worldwide explosion of people demanding democratic self-governance. The recent disbanding of the University of Chicago Hillel as a result of the Board's request for self-determination and local control strikes us as a mini-version of world events. You discredit the work you do in metropolitan Chicago’s Jewish community with your unjust actions. Your choice to rule our local Hillel in an autocratic fashion overwhelms.

We urge you to reconsider and do the right thing: allow the University of Chicago Hillel to selfgovern and concentrate your efforts on initiatives and programs that only you, as a metropolitan organization for Jewish life and concerns, can achieve. Sincerely, Peggy Mason, PhD Professor Department of Neurobiology Isaac D. Abella, PhD Professor, Emeritus Department of Physics Yolanda T. Becker, MD Professor Department of Surgery Daniel Brudney, PhD Professor Department of Philosophy Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, PhD Professor Harris School of Public Policy Studies Cathy Cohen, PhD David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science Department of Political Science Ronald Cohen, MD Associate Professor Department of Medicine Aaron R. Dinner, PhD Associate Professor Department of Chemistry Dana P. Edelson, MD, MS Assistant Professor Department of Medicine Michal Engelman, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Sociology

Benson Farb, PhD Professor Department of Mathematics Tom Ginsburg, JD, PhD Leo Spitz Professor of International Law Law School Elliot S. Gershon, MD Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Human Genetics Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience George Glauberman, PhD Professor, Emeritus Department of Mathematics Jill Glick, MD Associate Professor Department of Pediatrics Robert Haselkorn, PhD F.L. Pritzker Distinguished Service Professor Department of Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology Leo Kadanoff, PhD John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus Departments of Physics and Mathematics Greg Karczmar, PhD Professor Department of Radiology Leslie M. Kay, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Psychology Director, Institute for Mind & Biology Elizabeth Kieff, MD Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Helen H. Kim, MD Associate Professor Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Director, In Vitro Fertilization Program

Diane S. Lauderdale, PhD Professor, Epidemiology Department of Health Studies Kathryn Levin, PhD Professor Department of Physics Daniel Mass MD Professor Department of Surgery Martha McClintock, PhD David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology Department of Psychology Martha C. Nussbaum, PhD Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics Law School and Department of Philosophy Carole Ober, PhD Blum-Riese Professor and Interim Chair Department of Human Genetics Angela V. Olinto, PhD Professor Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics Robert Perlman, MD PhD Professor, Emeritus Department of Pediatrics and the College Louis H. Philipson MD PhD Professor Department of Medicine Board of Directors, Congregation Rodfei Zedek Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD Richard T. Crane Distinguished Service Professor Dean of the Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs Tamar S. Polonsky, MD, MSCI Assistant Professor Department of Medicine

Stuart A. Rice, PhD Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus Department of Chemistry and the James Franck Institute Mindy A. Schwartz, MD Associate Professor Department of Medicine James A Shapiro, PhD Professor Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Alison Siegler, JD Associate Clinical Professor of Law Director, Federal Criminal Justice Clinic Law School Dana L. Suskind, MD Associate Professor Department of Surgery Linda J. Waite, PhD Lucy Flower Professor in Urban Sociology Department of Sociology

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