Members of the Penn Hillel community are banding together in support of a prospective student who wrote about more than just his world-famous matzah balls in an application essay.
Friday at sundown, Hillel is planning a rally on College Green in solidarity with Jack Ofstein — a Long Island native who discussed his circumcision at Hillel in his Penn application this year.
The Daily Pennsylvanian reported last month that Ofstein’s essay was among those shared by Nadirah Farah Foley — a former admissions officer who is no longer employed by the University — on Facebook.
Hillel Director Rabbi Michael Uram believes Foley’s breach of trust impacts Penn’s Jewish community “long and deeply.”
“We’ve been performing circumcisions here for more than 69 years, and frankly, this is just unacceptable,” Uram said of Foley’s actions. “It cuts us to the core.”
The rally will reportedly be live-tweeted by Admissions Problems — a controversial and increasingly popular Tumblr page that regularly posts internet memes poking fun at parts of the admissions process.
“We heard that people would be coming dressed in foreskin costumes,” said Lee Stetson, Penn’s former dean of admissions and the founder of Admissions Problems. “This was way too good to miss.”
Stetson — who left the University under mysterious circumstances in 2007 and recently revealed his affiliation with Admissions Problems — added that he is especially looking forward to the post-rally Seder, at which Ofstein is expected to make an appearance.
Not all have responded favorably to the rally, however.
Members of Penn for Palestine and Penn Boycott, Divestment and Sanction released a joint statement Monday, calling Friday’s event an “unholy occupation of the sacred land that is College Green.” These students, who are calling themselves Biblical Ralliers in Solidarity — or BRIS — are planning a counter-protest later that evening.
“It’s the responsibility of the University to step in now to make sure nobody feels cut off,” said independent admissions consultant
Michele Hernandez Bev Taylor Michael Goran Steven Goodman.
Dean of Admissions Eric Furda referred all questions for this story to the Office of the President, which in turn referred questions to the Office of University Communications, which declined to comment.
“It’s all going to be going down on Friday,” Ofstein said. “First my circumcision, then my Bar Mitzvah, now this — it’s pretty awesome.”
_This article appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Joke Issue 2013. For more information, click hereComments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.