Seth D Gordon

Harvard — Too Big to Fail

According to Wikipedia, “Too big to fail” is a theory in banking and finance that asserts that certain corporations, particularly financial institutions, are so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, and therefore should be supported by government when they face potential failure; it was popularized in a 1984 congressional hearing.

It may apply to Harvard and other elite American Universities. Measured by money and prestige, Harvard stands second to none. But when it comes to moral education, “too big to fail” is a current and future disaster for Jews and for all Americans.

As of 2022, Harvard’s endowment surpassed a whopping 50 billion dollars. (An October column by Sarah Wood in US News and World Report states that the top 15 national universities average 21.8 billion dollars in endowments.) Potentially losing even one billion dollars in donations does not threaten the behemoth on the Charles River; it is a fraction of the interest that Harvard earns on its massive war chest.

In the wake of the Hamas Massacre, intense vocal mass support for Hamas on its campus and the corresponding silence of its leadership, “too big to fail” Harvard arrogantly marches on. Called before congress, Harvard’s president Claudine Gay echoed — and echoed is particularly apt — the responses from the Presidents of U Penn and MIT — calling for the genocide of Jews “depends on the context.” To be clear, “from the River to the Sea” — the Jordan River to the Mediteranean Sea — is a call for genocide.  

We later learned that these three representatives of our elite universities had at least a week to carefully prepare for their nationally televised testimony. But as good elite students, they did not prepare by themselves, they employed tools and aids — PR firms! And so, AI-like, they feebly and robotically mouthed prepared responses. They were programmed and felt the need to rehearse. Saturated in PR, they can’t think!  

Shaped by their team of consultants, the three presidents revealed that their roles were neither as moral stewards nor educators, but as defenders of reputations.  Responding as amoral zombies when it comes to Jews, they showed not a shred of personal moral clarity. We met the faces of elite indoctrination.

The aftermath was no less revealing. The presidents offered weak and belated PR “apologies.” Across the board, many political and financial leaders were appalled. U Penn’s president resigned under pressure, but Harvard’s board doubled down on support for Gay (as did MIT). Harvard is impregnable.

Let us be reminded of Harvard’s Jewish history. In 1922, Harvard’s president, A. Lawrence Lowell, proposed a quota on the number of Jews gaining admission to the university. (Jewish Virtual Library) Harvard had a “Jewish problem” — too many smart Jews. A Jewish quota persisted for at least a decade. Then came the 1930’s.  Harvard’s leadership and students either ignored or supported the Nazis. Today, Harvard’s current antisemitic attitudes and actions are gaining notoriety — nearly day-by-day. Same old Hah-vahd!

Harvard remains America’s elite academic institution, a magnet for the best high school and college minds, and academic scholarship. But academic superiority and moral excellence are not necessarily friends. There are too many examples of celebrated minds bearing rotten souls, but one is chilling: In the 19th century, French and German theorists conflated language and race to produce the intellectual foundations for race-superiority and race-inferiority soon thereafter realized in Naziism. In our day, it is manifested in a hierarchy of the oppressed and the oppressors. Jews, less than ⅕ of 1 percent of the world, of course, belong to the oppressors. 

Harvard’s financial might goes well beyond the impressive endowments. American governmental support for tuition assistance enables Harvard to annually increase its modest $80,000 annual undergraduate costs. The secret ledger includes foreign money which underwrites indoctrination — the salaries for indoctrinating professors and willfully ignorant or supportive administrators. Will journalists investigate the funding and make it known to the public? Let’s get to know the real Harvard and its academic bedfellows. But when you are too big to fail — that may not be possible.

Harvard is too big to fail, in part because of Jews themselves. Despite its history, and I suspect current attitudes, it is still the shiny prize for many Jewish students and their families. The Harvard diploma — its mere name on a resume — glitters. And, like displaying the sparkle of a fine diamond, confers and confirms success to the insiders, and wows the gawking outsiders.  

It would be quite the move for Jewish donors to close their checkbooks to their Alma Mater and for Jewish students and their families to forgo spending $80,000+ a year to walk Harvard’s halls. Harvard is just too big to fail, isn’t it?

Then again, reputations, like diamonds, become tarnished. Maybe Harvard isn’t “Harvard” anymore. When that is jeopardized, we will really see PR machine get cranking. But restoring a reputation takes time.  

Of course, it is not just Harvard. Redemption from indoctrination, from selective morality, from antisemitism, is a matter of Jewish pride and American honor. Moral education is the foundation of a successful society. Fail to address it and insidious rot will be at and in your door, in your home, and will infect your family. Maybe for the foreseeable future, Jewish money and Jewish minds, and others who care about moral education, can find better educational homes.  

Harvard may be too big to fail, but our universities are not too big to be redeemed.

About the Author
Rabbi Seth D Gordon received his rabbinic s'michah from Rav David Weiss Halivini from the UTJ and has served congregations in Annapolis, Maryland, Bethpage, New York, and St Louis, Missouri. His emphasis is Jewish education. Rabbi Gordon has worked across the board, co-founding a day school in Annapolis, and founded the now defunct African American-Jewish coalition of Anne Arundel County. He also taught in a Jewish Day School on Long Island, NY. He serves on the executive board of the UTJ and is the past Chairman of MORASHAH, its rabbinical organization. He and his wife are blessed with five children and eleven grandchildren; two of their sons, their wives, and five of their grandchildren live in Israel.
Related Topics
Related Posts