Scholars for Peace is very much at a crossroads. SPME has to decide whether it will be a faculty-driven, grass roots organization, governed and financed by its constituency to conduct scholarship, operationalize on campuses and in the academic disciplines or be another playa amongst the Jewish and Israel advocacy groups, many of which have some sort on on-campus presence for students or even with faculty.
If you believe as many of us do that this organization should remain a faculty organization addressing anti-Israel and anti-Semetic academic, discipline and campus-based issues of academic freedom, academic integrity, civil and honest debate to elevate the narrative from faculty across disciplines and students in the quad, then it is incumbant upon you to support this effort with your contribution.
If you want to see monies spent for academic products to be used by our colleagues in the classroom and in our disciplines, you will support this academic endeavor, the same way you pay your professional dues to your academic societies.
If you would like to see an organized presence of faculty on campus to network and address issues of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism on your campus then you will need to make a contribution.
If you would like to see funds spent for pivotal scholarship that makes its way into the journals to influence generations of scholars and have academic control over that, you will have to contribute.
If you want to be involved over the decision making about how funds are expended by SPME, you’ll have to make a contribution.
However, if you’d like large donors to tell us what we should be doing as faculty members on campus, you could conceivably keep getting a free ride here and allowing the donors to tell us what to do with their money.
If you’d like to see ” Jewish education professionals and association professional staff” attempting to do the work of professors who are stakeholders in the academic community who may be more responsible to large donors than to faculty, that’s fine too and you can not contribute.
If you’d like to see the association do only what large donors tell them they should and can do, than don’t give a penny and you will get that for which you paid, nothing you want, necessarily.
Currently SPME is reported to have large grant proposals with a number of funders. Most are for designated project for SPME, but are not unrestricted gifts to SPME. In other words SPME will be obligated to deliver something for which the funder is giving us money. That’s very much a hit and miss deal for us because it doesn’t allow us to plan strategically what we feel is necessary to advance the objectives of the association. Even to the degree which they may have scholarly merit and be influential amongst our colleagues is subject to discussion.
So you need to help us decide. Voting is pretty simple…the more of you who contribute $75 or more, the better chance we have of remaining accountable to the grass roots and remaining a faculty organization gaining credibility through our publications, programs and services. Not contributing means you are voting for others to make important decisions about the direction in which SPME will be going which is more towards being a traditional Jewish advocacy group financed by a cadre of large donors pretty much influencing the direction of the association.
So, vote early, vote often, but please vote. To vote, click here