Gallaudet University Gets a Deaf Jewish President

It’s another win for the chosen people: Gallaudet University, the nation’s school for the deaf, has elected its first Jewish president. T. Alan Hurwitz will also be one of the few deaf presidents following the school’s landmark "Deaf President Now" student protest. We called Hurwitz on the phone to interview him about this historic appointment and discuss his identity as a Jewish, deaf man.

As the new president of the world’s most prominent deaf and hard of hearing university, do you feel added pressure to be a role model for the Jewish community as well?

That bad, huh?

You mention in a Forward article that being "deaf is like being Jewish."

Can you elaborate?

That’s what it says in the article anyway. Do you identify primarily as Deaf (with a capital D) or Jewish?

This is clearly a sensitive issue for you.

Okay . . . how about we discuss Gallaudet’s 1988 Deaf President Now movement, when students boycotted classes demanding a deaf president?

Indeed, sometimes actions do speak louder than words.

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What do you think?

About The Author


Libbie is your token teenage brat. When Libbie Jacobson's not doing dirty work for Heeb, she's either cooking stir-fry, writing shitty fiction, or daydreaming about Dr. Brian Cox.

26 Responses

  1. Puck

    It’s funny ‘cos he’s deaf and he wouldn’t be able to HEAR you over the phone…bwahahahahahahahahaa!

  2. MyJewishBooks

    This isn’t funny. Not even National Lampoon would have published it. It is moronic. Is this satire? I doubt it. Is this how a Jewish magazine exhibits the “nuanced perspectives that many Jews have about their identities?” Nope. Is this cutting edge

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