Amid concerns about Rabbi Lehmann’s ‘Islamophobic statements and anti-Palestinian views,’ the GTU board accepted his resignation.
By If Americans Knew staff | If Americans Knew Blog | Mar 21, 2020
Upon being named GTU president in 2018, Lehmann’s statements to news media suggested that he had expected to change what he called GTU’s ‘progressive Christian’ orientation.
Rabbi Daniel Lehmann has resigned as president of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) after concerns surfaced about his ‘Islamophobic statements and anti-Palestinian views’. GTU is reportedly “the most comprehensive center for the graduate study of religion in North America.”
Based in Berkeley, California, GTU has long been known for its commitment to justice, peace, and interfaith cooperation. It consists of eight Christian schools and nine academic centers and affiliates. It includes diverse faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism.
Upon being named GTU president in 2018, Lehmann’s statements to news media suggested that he had expected to change what he called GTU’s “progressive Christian” orientation.
Instead, community members pushed Lehmann out over his attacks on a respected Berkeley professor, his “racist” views, and his support for “an apartheid regime.”
Lehmann’s record had been detailed in an article by Alison Weir last September, which had led to concern among GTU students and faculty. Handouts with information from Weir’s report were then distributed by activists at Lehmann’s inauguration.
A few months later an An Open Letter to the Leadership of the GTU was published on the Internet stating that Lehmann’s espoused views “contradict the freedom struggles of people of color and Palestinians, GTU’s tradition of solidarity with people suffering violations of systemic harm and the International Declaration of Human Rights.”