Rebecca Ramo-Cofino

SATIRE: Antisemitism at Columbia University

Rebecca Ramo’s Cover Letter Special: The most unapologetic Jew-hatred I’ve ever personally experienced came from Columbia graduate students in NYC studying “journalism” and “international affairs.” I felt more comfortable wearing my Jewish star in restaurants flying a Palestinian flag than around these (mostly) WASP–and affluent–students.

Columbia University Graduate School of School of Journalism


To Whom It May Concern:

I am pleased to present myself as a candidate for the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism program. I received my undergraduate degree in “Global Affairs” at NYU, and would like to continue spending my parents’ retirement fund, saving the world, from a dormitory with a dining hall, instead of working.

At this time, and as a budding journalist, it’s very important that I make it clear that I am definitely not an antisemite. I have most recently said “Happy Hanukkah” to some of my Facebook friends. The Jewish faith has the right to celebrate Christmas in their own special Jewish way. I also am very sensitive to their needs and make sure to always ask them if it’s okay to say the word “Jew.”  

That being said, the only Jewish country, which I’ve never been to, is the one I feel the need to most strongly condemn.  I enjoy gently correcting my Jewish “friends” when they tell me I’m antisemitic.  They just don’t understand that criticizing Israel’s existence does not equate to antisemitism. I would rather lazily deem Gaza a “concentration camp,” so that I don’t have to deal with the actual atrocities experienced by Jews for thousands of years.  I’m also comfortable declaring that the population of Gaza is “exploding,” while claiming Israeli “genocide,” in the same sentence. I am additionally highly proficient at ignoring actual genocide in Syria, North Korea, and China.

I will feel very at home on your campus rampant with calls to kill Jews.  Hatred of the Jews isn’t the real issue. Israel’s genocide in the middle east helps put this into the context that it seems only intellectuals like me can understand.  As I learned during my undergraduate studies, no Jews were in Israel prior to 1948, and the colonialist settler Jews from Europe came to colonize Palestine.  They are the powerful, white majority, and they keep using their power and wealth to oppress the Palestinians.  The Palestinian people of Gaza have demonstrably shown their unwavering commitment to democratic values and coexistence, while Israelis have not contributed anything to the world.  

I have no problem with the fact that my ancestors are actual colonizers who owned slaves or that your university housing that I will live in has displaced, and will continue to displace its former New York community.

I also have no problem with the fact that the governments of the people I claim to stand by, are committed to the oppression, rape, and murder of women and the LGBTQ community, other groups I stand by when it’s trendy.  I’d rather condemn the people who out-performed me in high school and who continue to build successful, thriving communities for themselves.  

I look forward to using my Qatar-funded education to continue helping my brothers in the middle east continue their right to self-determination as freedom fighters, freedom rapists, and freedom butchers.


Jennifer White

About the Author
Rebecca Ramo-Cofino is a satirist, singer, special education teacher, and amateur violinist. She currently is the head of a special education department in Denver Public Schools. Her unique voice is informed by her extensive experience in education, as well as her involvement in many different types of Jewish communities.