October 13th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

Shining light on Emory school's past anti-Semitism prompts healing – and, for one man, questions

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) – Sixteen years after Susan Shulman Tessel lost her father, she sat on a Southern college campus Wednesday night and couldn't stop thinking about him. Surrounded by hundreds in a packed ballroom, she cried because he was missing. He should have been there with her and her mother. He deserved to be.

The late Irving Shulman was the only Jewish man to enter Emory University’s School of Dentistry in 1948. That was the same year someone else came to the school: the newly appointed dean, John E. Buhler.

After one academic year, Shulman flunked out. Buhler stayed on for 13 years, leading what some Jewish students would refer to as a “reign of terror.” Between 1948 and 1961, when Buhler left, 65% of Jewish students either failed out or were forced to repeat up to two years of coursework in the four-year program.

Those who lasted often paid. There were insults from professors such as “dirty Jew,” accusations by faculty of cheating and questions from the dean like, “Why do you Jews want to be dentists? You don't have it in your hands.”

Tessel's dad earned the distinction of being the first who failed.

Irving Shulman's widow, Irma Shulman-Weiner, and daughter Susan Shulman Tessel came to Emory last week because he couldn't.

His daughter, who lives in New York, heard him tell stories about the constant reminders of how awful he was. His molds of teeth  which he was so proud of  would either get crushed by hands or grades. Convinced he wasn't being treated fairly, a non-Jewish classmate agreed to turn in one of Shulman's molds under his name. Shulman's handiwork earned that student an A-minus.

“At least he knew he didn't make it up,” Tessel said.

Her late father gave up his dentistry dream and moved on to pharmacy school. But, she said, being at Emory last week would have helped him make sense of what had transpired. That's when 19 former Jewish dental students who had experienced that era came together and finally received the apology and recognition they had never thought possible.

“He didn't have the benefit of knowing he wasn't alone."

'A fraternity of silence'

Three years after Shulman was dubbed a failure at the end of his first academic year, Perry Brickman got his surprise letter from the dean telling him the same. Unlike Shulman, though, he had never been told he wasn't doing well.

Stunned. Embarrassed. Brickman was both. But he wasn't beaten down enough to give up on dentistry and was accepted to the dental school at the University of Tennessee, where he graduated fourth in his class. He would go on to have a 43-year career as a respected oral surgeon in Atlanta. He knew he was no failure. He also knew he wasn't alone. He was one of four Jewish men who entered the school in 1951; two years later they were all gone.

Brickman, 79, wasn't one to bring up the past. In 2000, he went to a reunion of his Jewish fraternity brothers from their Emory undergrad days. It turned out eight of the men in the room had been scarred by the same dental program, but it's not something they talked about. Brickman's wife, Shirley, would later start calling the former dental students “a fraternity of silence.”

It would be years before that would change.

In 2006, Emory University celebrated its 30th anniversary of Jewish studies. Eric Goldstein, a Jewish history professor, set up the exhibit to coincide with the event. He called it, “Jews of Emory: Faces of a Changing University.”

Most of the exhibit was a celebration of the campus’ Jewish life, Goldstein said, but a small section jumped out at Brickman.

He stared at statistics, a bar graph that illustrated what happened at the dental school between 1948 and 1961. The image had been featured in a chapter of “Some of My Best Friends...,” a book published by the Anti-Defamation League in the early 1960s. Like a skyscraper among short buildings, he said, the bar showing the numbers of Jews who failed out of the school or repeated coursework towered above all others. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.

The visual highlighted what Brickman always suspected about the dental school leadership and how that period was handled at Emory: “I wasn't a failure. They were a failure.”

He knew there were stories behind those numbers  not just of those who hadn't made it but also of those who did. Between the statistics and a conversation with a still-burdened classmate, Brickman set out on a path to find them all.

Making waves

A month before one man got his degree, he was forced to stand before the dean and assembled faculty for an hourlong dressing down. Later, one of the professors pulled the student aside and apologized, saying he had a wife and children to think about and had no choice but to play along.

Another said the day he got his diploma he felt like he'd been released from prison. A third repeated what a professor used to call him, "my little black sheep,” and then, bothered by the memory, muttered under his breath, “son of a bitch.”

These men said they were the "lucky" ones; the ones who actually made it through to earn degrees from the school. The 39 Jews who Brickman said enrolled during the Buhler era were all men; few women attended the school back then. Of that bunch, a dozen flunked out. Only three of those 12 became dentists. At least 15 of the Jewish dental students who lasted were forced to repeat coursework – and in some cases a year or two of study.

Art Burns, 80, of Jacksonville, Florida, flunked out in 1953 but went on to be first in his class at Temple University's dental school. The retired orthodontist recalled later bumping into the Emory dean in an Army base dental lab. Buhler looked at him and said, “Burns, I'd recognize that nose anywhere.”

Another who didn't fail – but who Buhler insisted didn't have the hands for dentistry – found himself being asked to treat dental school faculty throughout his senior year. Crowns, restorations, fillings. You name it, Ronald Goldstein did it.

“I must have had good enough hands for them,” said Goldstein, 78, of Atlanta, who lectures around the world, is considered a pioneer in his field and wrote the first comprehensive textbook on cosmetic dentistry.

The men were accepted to the school because admissions were handled by the broader university and not the dental school alone, said history professor Goldstein (no relation to Ronald). While quotas worked against Jews in many institutions at the time, the Emory dental school story was unique in that these students faced discrimination after they arrived.

Art Burns, with his wife, Olly, and daughter Marlēn, failed out of Emory's dental school but was first in his class of 131 students at Temple University.

The issues were talked about in small circles, but they weren’t discussed loudly.

What student would announce he'd flunked? What parents would talk about such news, especially in a community that put such emphasis on academic achievement? And this was Emory, a hometown liberal arts jewel many local Jews attended; who would criticize – or believe criticism about – such a place?

Beyond these hangups was the worry about backlash that permeated Atlanta's Jewish community. It was rooted in fears born of history and reality – Atlanta's infamous lynching of Leo Frank in 1913, the ongoing activity of the Ku Klux Klan, the 1958 bombing of the city's most prominent synagogue. Israel was still a fledgling nation. This was also the immediate post-Holocaust era, a time when Jewish people in America were just starting to understand the magnitude of what had happened abroad, said Deborah Lauter, the Anti-Defamation League's civil rights director.

“It was a real period of insecurity for the Jewish community, and that didn’t really shift 'til 1967,” after the Six-Day War between Israel and its neighbors, she said. “With a war victory came a newfound confidence of Jewish people.”

But a small handful of Atlanta Jews refused to let go of what was happening at the dental school. Art Levin, 95, paid attention to every snippet. Then the Southeast regional director of the ADL, Levin was determined to make Emory own up to and deal with the dental school's anti-Jewish bias. He collected graduation programs, which included lists of students in all four years, and studied how the Jewish surnames disappeared or were held back while their classmates moved ahead. He nurtured contacts who helped get him inside information from the registrar's office to back up his calculations. He wanted to make the case not by outing any victims but by presenting irrefutable facts.

When the local Jewish Community Relations Council wanted to tone down pressure on the university, Levin's response, as he stated in an Emory-commissioned documentary that premiered Wednesday evening: “Screw that. This guy has been torturing students for 10 years.”

Photos: Faces of discrimination

Levin, at the time, was “villified” by segments of the Jewish community for making waves, said ADL’s Lauter, a former Atlanta resident who, like Levin, did a stint as the organization's Southeast regional director. “But that's why we're here for people who face discrimination. Sometimes ADL has to be the tough guy. We take no prisoners in the fight against anti-Semitism.”

While Levin takes great satisfaction in knowing the story is finally getting public acknowledgement, Lauter said it's “bittersweet” for him. “He did feel stung by the whole experience." In 1962, after nine years in his position, he left the world of Jewish community work.

Levin, who now lives in Florida and is hard of hearing, was not able to be interviewed for this story.

A form devised by Buhler, which at the top asked students to check a box – Caucasian, Jewish or other (Emory was not racially integrated at the time) – ended up being his downfall, many say. The university president, S. Walter Martin, had been dismissive of the concerns Levin and some others raised. So when Martin was out of town, Levin brought a copy of the form to Judson “Jake” Ward, the dean of faculty, and Ward grew incensed. He marched down to see Buhler, who resigned soon after.

Emory's president still refused to acknowledge what had been going on and wrote off Buhler’s resignation as coincidental. Martin even insisted to local press, Goldstein said, that Buhler could have stayed at the dental school as long as he wanted.

With the dean gone, Atlanta's Jewish community essentially closed the book and put it away.

Not the man he knew

That book only recently opened for the former dean's son.

A sister-in-law sent John E. Buhler Jr., 65, a copy of a recent story in the The New York Times about the episode. What he read “caught me completely off guard,” he said. “I was completely unaware of that situation.”

He was a kid when his father landed at Emory and always believed politics in academia prompted his departure, nothing more. Everything he ever knew about his father, who died on Easter Sunday in 1976, belied what is being discussed now.

The former dean of Emory's dental school, John E. Buhler, was a different man to Jewish students than he was to his son.

The younger Buhler, a retired oral surgeon living in Huntington, Indiana, said he grew up with a man who cared about “helping kids stay in school and not throwing them out of school.” When he got into the field himself, he proudly watched how former students sought out his father at conferences, showering him with gratitude. One even boasted that he had named his child after Buhler.

“It just sort of blows me away. … He did so many positive things for dentistry and students,” the younger Buhler said. “It's hard to believe.”

Trying to make sense of it all, Buhler Jr.'s daughter sent her father an article that appeared in The Spartanburg Herald in South Carolina in 1964. It was written soon after the older Buhler assumed the dean’s post at the new dental school of what was then known as the Medical College of South Carolina – and after the Jewish community there weighed in with concerns about past anti-Semitism, demanding his appointment be rescinded.

The 1964 article quoted the chairman of the Medical College's board of trustees defending Buhler, saying he was recommended for the new position after a committee concluded the Emory charges were “not as serious as painted at one time."

The former dean's namesake doesn't remember his father ever saying a derogatory word about Jewish people. In fact, he's quick to point out that when the family lived in Atlanta, some of his parents' closest friends were Jewish.

These sorts of claims get former students like Brickman, who led the charge to humanize the dental school’s history, riled up. He has collected too many stories and seen too many documents, including incriminating notes written by Buhler himself, to call the former dean anything but an anti-Semite.

But for Buhler Jr., none of this adds up. Really, how can it?

“If this situation did exist, it was certainly out of character of the man I knew,” he wrote CNN the morning after the Emory event. “If indeed these events did occur, I feel badly for the individuals involved. Last night’s event might have made them feel better but didn't compensate for their injury.”

I am sorry. We are sorry.’

Facing its history is something Emory isn’t afraid to do.

In 2011, it issued a statement of regret for the school's involvement with slavery. The Southern institution once had slave laborers on campus and faculty members who owned slaves.

Earlier this year, Emory fessed up to fudging data to boost its ranking.

Meantime, the university boasts a Center for Ethics, campus dialogues on matters like race, sexuality and gender, and has long-proven its support for Jewish studies and community. It has 20 full-time faculty members dedicated to the field, including world-renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt.

The school seemed ripe for the resurfacing of the dental school's history, which is why Goldstein, the Jewish history professor, placed a call last spring to Gary Hauk, Emory's vice president and deputy to the president. He said he had a friend Hauk needed to meet.

With testimonies he had recorded with his Flip camera, Brickman showed Hauk videos of men in their 70s and 80s, their negative Emory dental school experience still etched in their faces and emotions. Hauk didn't need convincing that something needed to be done.

A documentary incorporating Brickman's footage was commissioned, resulting in “From Silence to Recognition: Confronting Discrimination in Emory's Dental School History.” A plan was developed to invite the former students, their families and their widows to come together on campus for an apology that was half a century overdue.

What had happened to them at the dental school, which closed in the early 1990s for unrelated reasons, had never been formally acknowledged. It was time.

Blue ribbons were strung along aisles to reserve seats for the special guests, who first met privately with Emory President James W. Wagner. The men, some of whom hadn't returned to Emory since the day they left, arrived with family members from all over the country. Many went on to become great successes in dentistry. Those who gave up that dream excelled as physicians, lawyers, CPAs and computer experts. One man who flunked out tried his hand at painting, wanting to prove he had the manual skills the dean said he lacked; he won art show awards.

The experience had been a guarded secret for some – a chapter in life they hid from parents, friends, future spouses and their children. One woman in attendance said she had only learned the day before that her father failed out of Emory. For other former students, their time at Emory haunted them. One of their daughters – who refused even years later to apply to Emory when she went to dental school – dubbed herself and others like her “children of survivors,” a term often linked to the Holocaust. An 18-year-old man, who is gay and faced plenty of bullying, realized he could relate to the grandfather sitting next to him in new ways.

Widows and children of deceased former students showed up for those who didn't live long enough to see this day. One man, who was young when his father died, came to hear stories no one else in his life could tell.

All around them, as they took their seats, the ballroom filled. A standing-room-only crowd of hundreds came out to recognize them. Here, any shame from the past was lifted. Instead, these men were the picture of courage and worthy of respect – and that long-awaited apology.

“Institutions – universities – are as fallible as the human beings who populate them, and like individuals, universities need to remind themselves frequently of the principles they want to live by,” President Wagner said. “The discrimination against Jewish dental students undermined the academic integrity of the dental school and ultimately of Emory. … I am sorry. We are sorry.”

The night, which would end with a special dinner for this no-longer-silent fraternity, included a tribute to Brickman, who was called to the stage.

Norman Trieger traveled last week from New York to hear Emory's apology for and acknowledgement of past anti-Semitism. On Saturday, he passed away.

His wife, surrounded by family, clung to a tissue and dabbed her eyes. A daughter clutched her mother’s hand. A son looked up at his dad and beamed.

Brickman never did this for the Emory History Maker medal Wagner strung around his neck. Nor did he do this for the citation read to honor his work.

For him, this was a journey of discovery - one he took with the faces behind the numbers. With him that night were these men and their families, as well as the university he still loved.

Throughout the evening, and long after dinner ended, he saw tears, camaraderie, even laughter from some of the very men he feared were no longer capable of smiling.

All of this, he hoped, signaled what mattered most: Healing.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Discrimination • Education • Judaism • Prejudice

soundoff (1,537 Responses)
  1. LB

    All I have to say is//great article Jessica

    October 14, 2012 at 11:46 am |
  2. TonyB

    And discrimination in Georgia surprises anyone? Bunch of white trash hicks.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • TonyIgnorance

      Hey Tony, you have never been to atlanta have you? Or any other metro areas in the south? It's ANYTHING BUT white.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
  3. oldguy68

    Unfortunately, this is not as isolated as one might think. I graduated from a public midwestern college in the '60's and saw plenty of bias towards blacks, Catholics and Jews

    October 14, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • mattsaunt

      and let's not forget women. women trying to get into decent medical programs were far better off heading north of the border than trying their hand with American academia. UGH

      October 14, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  4. tony

    Meanwhile, the US Black population (11%) of tens of millions was just having a predjudice-free economic and social miracle?

    October 14, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Poltergeist

      Black people don't own the major media outlets required to bombard an entire continent with sob stories every time something goes wrong.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Hipster Slayer

      No dude, there are countless other articles on the CNN home page that pander to darkies.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  5. lilgtogirl

    As the granddaughter of a survivor, calling dental school discrimination a Reign of Terror is slightly insulting. I have to imagine that for American black people reading this, its insulting compared to the terror they faced under discrimination as well. Let's not be dramatic. It was dental school, not the holy war.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Kay

      Sorry, but it was 13 years of Buhler reigning over the dental school with a vicious antisemitic hand. Jewish students lived in fear. Sure...it wasn't the fear of death. But people can be terrorized without people being killed.

      Did your grandfather know he wasn't alone? Did your grandfather ever speak out about this? Speak out back when it was happening? Or did he keep silent out of fear? Out of shame?

      If you can call your grandfather a "survivor" of this abuse, then you can recognize that "reigns of terror" do not have to be massive. And that emotional abuse is just as devastating as physical abuse.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Ruby

      I agree, an overstatement. They were denied a place in the dental program, not lynched.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  6. Lester

    I think this article says a lot about how discrimination actually works. You'll note that the apologies have all come from the school's current administrators, the people involved in the bad behavior never acknowledged what they did and their friends and relatives continue to defend them. It is good that, after the fact, Emory has decided to recognize what happened to these people, but what is really important is that similar behavior (toward this or other groups) not happen in the future: and the fact that when such stuff is actually going on people turn their back–that isn't a hopeful sign.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree. Bringing stories like this to light and not simply ignoring prejudice may help to prevent such behavior by organizations.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  7. Work hard

    "Neo-nazism on the rise"

    "Antisemitism on the rise"

    "No Jews in Hollywood"

    "Israel uber alles"

    Whine whine whine.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you think what Emory did to these people was just? Fair? Honest?

      October 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  8. Aden

    @Chad figures that Palestinians incite violence and Israeli's respond. This dude needs to spend some time at Birzeit, like I did in the 80's. Israeli light-armored vehicles would regularly come on campus full of soldiers and drive around for effect. If they didn't draw any stone-throwing they'd go around again this time talking shi t. If that didn't work they'd park, get out and block the sidewalks and talk shi t. Eventually someone would throw something and that would be taken as an excuse to shut down the campus for a week or more sometimes. Give it a try, my friend.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • tony

      Somehow Americans get to think that an immigrant religious terrorist minority taking over a whole country from the general population is bad if Bin Ladin does it, but fine if the Stern gang does it.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • David

      You know there is an old saying... "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Grow the Hell UP!

      October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And that "old saying" is false. These actions DID hurt people. It ended dreams and hopes and changed the courses of lives. It was wrong. Pretending that "well, they do the same thing" is going to absolve those who committed these wrongs is ridiculous.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Kay

      Sorry, David...but that old "sticks and stones" nonsense was debunked generations ago. Emotional abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse. And can create monsters the same way physical abuse can.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • David

      @Tom. I was talking about Aden's comment, not about the story, and by the way, nowhere in Aden's comment was there any physical contact, or interference with the school system in general. If the soldiers had interfered with the school in general such as what took place at Emory then you would have a valid point, but you don't. The fact is, Aden is ticked off because a bunch of Jewish soldiers came on campus, and would try to start something, and the worst that it that it had gotten was blocking pathways, "Wow," that is horrible. Instead of walking around the soldiers, it was time to pick up rocks and start throwing them... "Give me a break."

      October 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • David

      @Kay. I hate to tell you this, but it is not going away anytime soon, so you better get use to it. Just look at the Jew hatred on comments. How about fat people. Lets not forget white trailer trash, or rednecks. What about the recent story of the 15 year-old girl that committed suicide from bullying. How many times have you heard someone make a comment about you, that was not very nice, but you choose to walk away instead of fight? If we were to fight back, half the world would have their hands wrapped the other half's necks. There is nothing wrong with the sticks and stones bit, because it is mainly true for now...

      October 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      David, if your comment applied to Aden's story, then you should have made that clear. You didn't.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • David

      @Tom. I did not make a comment, I replied to Aden's comment, not the story, or I would have just commented on the story instead. It even says at the top, "Leave a Reply to Aden."

      October 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  9. Fionaredux

    I had two misogynistic professors, in the 1970's, who dismissed (and downgraded) my work out of pure prejudice. I ignored them. I had a similar experience in grad school. I had employers (and potential employers) demean me through the 1980's - making se xual advances and innuendos, giving assignments meant to embarrass and belittle, generally sidelining me - simply because of my gender and appearance. I wasn't the only woman who went through this. Where was my support group? Where is my apology? Oh, that's right...women don't support one another. Other women were some of my biggest hurdles in getting ahead. But, oh, that's right, what I experienced wasn't real prejudice because I am not a minority or member of a persecuted religious or ethnic group (being female in those se xist days doesn't count?). So when I read about these men - men - being beaten down by one sa distic dean, I wonder why they don't just soldier on. Life is hard, and there are plenty of people who will throw hate your way. The fellow who changed dental schools seems to he the only one with common sense. Why dwell on it? Rise above it.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Fionaredux

      ...and the silly woman calling these folks the "children of the survivors"? What an insult to the real survivors of the Holocaust!

      October 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • krussell

      Some groups have developed a culture of playing victom and demanding sympathy.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, do you think that everyone should simply ignore what went on at Emory? Brush it off?

      October 14, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Bibletruth

      I dont know of anyone that doesnt feel they have been discriminated against. For example is it any less discrimination/prejudice/bigotry to rail against the rich than a jew or a black or whatever? I know quite a few wealthy people that purposely drive a non-descript standard car where they live but have a eye popping automobile at a second or third home, all because they do not want to be a target at their family home. This business of class warfare, class envy, etc. leads to hatred and the consequences of hatred are never good. There is absolutely no cure for all this injustice until peoples hearts are changed. All you who attack God because He should have known the results of this or that...or why didnt Jesus "just" do or say such and such, are without knowledge or discernment. Jesus knows that all these feel good ideas and moral "high ground" pronouncements are useless and most often pure hypocrisy and can never really change anything for the better in any kind of permanent way...that it is only a changed heart-conversion...becoming a partaker of the divine nature that will change anything, really.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • arnie

      @Bibletruth: No one needs your deluded assessment of the worlds problems, always related to your rehashed sky fairy religion.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Kay

      Oh, so you're saying that, because *you* put up with bullying, everyone else should put up with bullying? And, because *you* didn't have a support group, that it's the fault of *other* women??? Darned good thing that there were other women who didn't take your approach.

      And don't dismiss the use of the word "survivors" so cavalierly. It's not just a matter of numbers, for crying out loud.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  10. Edwin

    I'm not surprised by the son's reaction. People who fervently believe in discrimination are not uniformly evil in other aspects of their lives. Even during World War II, the Nazis who performed atrocities on jews would go home and behave quite decently towards their families and neighbors.

    This is the insidious nature of discrimination - it hides in people that appear otherwise nice, decent, and even thoughtful. Such people often have defenders - because they might indeed be wonderful human beings (except for their prejudice).

    October 14, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Lester

      I think you really hit the nail on the head. Prejudice isn't as simple as some people would like to make out.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  11. Taskmaster

    Jews have been scapegoats and discriminated against for centuries. Hitler used their financial success to turn an entire country against them . He used his hatred and jealousy to Kill millions. Obama and Biden want to turn the American people against the rich just as Hitler did in Germany and Lenin did in Russia. There will always be poor and there will always be rich but the liberals want only rich politicians.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • midwest rail

      Good grief.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • tony

      Honest people want to be treated equally politically in a democracy. Money shouldn't be able to corrupt the democratic process.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • mama k

      That might be the most idiotic notion I have ever read on here. My goodness.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • ed

      Obviously "Taskmaster" has a political agenda with such broad lies. Sounds like the prayer bot going about its "tasks".

      October 14, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  12. from a dentist

    So sorry to read this story. The truth is dental school I think was the most academically abusive period of my life. The student works and tries to succeed at all cost and faculty can do whatever the hell they want to. Favoritism is rampant in dental school as is labeling and categorizing the so considered unfavorable students. The instructors generally know very little about anything except dentistry and mostly have very poor relationship skills. I have Dr. Goldstein's books and have seen some of his patients who have moved to my area, he's a great dentist. Some of the most successful guys in dental practice are the ones who were for one reason or another mistreated by faculty. Funny thing is 10-15 years after graduation thes same abusive dental professors will send you a form letter requesting money for support. Mine goes straight into the trash.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  13. john

    The United States was the first country to be created, from its inception, as a democracy. And the Bible played a major role in the process.

    The creation of the United States of America represented a unique event in world history. Unlike other countries where democracy evolved over a period of hundreds of years, the United States was the first country to be created, from its inception, as a democracy. And the Bible—and Jewish values—played a major role in this process.

    Many of the earliest “pilgrims” who settled the “New England” of America in early 17th century were Puritan refugees escaping religious persecutions in Europe.

    Over the next century, America continued to be not only the land of opportunity for many people seeking a better life but also the land of religious tolerance. By the middle 1700’s, the east coast of America was settled by a virtual “Who’s Who” of Christian splinter sects from all over Europe. Among them were:
    •the Puritans, whom we already know so well
    •the Quakers, an extremist Puritan sect who did not believe in ministers and for whom a Society of Friends meeting together was good enough to bring down the Holy Spirit
    •Calvinists, who early on had challenged the Catholic belief that the bread and wine became the body and blood of Jesus in the celebration of the mass
    •the Huguenots, or French Calvinists
    •the Moravians, followers of John Hus, the protestant martyr from Bohemia
    •the Mennonites, a Swiss sect of Anabaptists who rejected infant baptism
    •the Amish, the most stringent of the Mennonites

    These were just some of the numerous groups who arrived in America in search of religious freedom.

    The majority of the earliest settlers were, of course, Puritans. Beginning with the Mayflower, over the next twenty years, 16,000 Puritans migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and many more settled in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Like their cousins back in England, these American Puritans strongly identified with both the historical traditions and customs of the ancient Hebrews of the Old Testament. They viewed their emigration from England as a virtual re-enactment of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. To them, England was Egypt, the king was Pharaoh, the Atlantic Ocean was the Red Sea, America was the Land of Israel, and the Indians were the ancient Canaanites. They were the new Israelites, entering into a new covenant with God in a new Promised Land. Thanksgiving—first celebrated in 1621, a year after the Mayflower landed—was initially conceived as day parallel to the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur; it was to be a day of fasting, introspection and prayer.

    Gabriel Sivan, in The Bible and Civilization, (p. 236) observes:

    No Christian community in history identified more with the People of the Book than did the early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who believed their own lives to be a literal reenactment of the Biblical drama of the Hebrew nation. They themselves were the children of Israel; America was their Promised Land; the Atlantic Ocean their Red Sea; the Kings of England were the Egyptian pharaohs; the American Indians the Canaanites (or the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel); the pact of the Plymouth Rock was God’s holy Covenant; and the ordinances by which they lived were the Divine Law. Like the Huguenots and other Protestant victims of Old World oppression, these émigré Puritans dramatized their own situation as the righteous remnant of the Church corrupted by the “Babylonian woe,” and saw themselves as instruments of Divine Providence, a people chosen to build their new commonwealth on the Covenant entered into at Mount Sinai.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • snowboarder


      October 14, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • tony

      The Holy Roman Empire was based on the bible. So were the Salem Witch Trials. And the Spanish Inquisition. And the US import and abuse of slavery.

      You should be ashamed of posting such disgusting stuff as motivational.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • mattsaunt

      So what is your point?

      October 14, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • lawrencewinkler

      Your comments could not be any more irrelevant, except to point out that sycophants will always be ready to defend if not ignore bad acts.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • chitowngal08

      It's easy to promote discrimination when you are male and white.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • wjmccartan

      Thank you for the drivel,and check your history, before the country came into existence it was a colony which was ruled by england, as for democracy who was allowed to particate in that democracy? America is a great country that does promote democracy around the world. Unlike Isreal all of its citizens can vote in their democracy. If you going to write about anything at all, be honest and remember the history, we can appreciate what we have today and not paint history through rose coloured glasses, that goes for all countries. By remebering we know how precious today is.

      Lucid One

      October 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      So what ? Every culture develops,and changes. Your Bible sh1t is irrelevant. The fact that ONCE it may have played a role, is today irrelevant. The is NOT a Theocracy. It also ignores the fact that the Founders DID NOT consider this a "Christian Nation". and they clearly, and unanimously said so. (See the Treaty of Tripoli 1797). This country ALSO gave voting rights AT THAT time, to white land-owning males, ONLY. Are you suggesting we return to *those* "roots" also ?

      October 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      And BTW John, take a course in Biblical origins and history from a legitimate insti'tution, (not a "Bible college".)
      The "exodus", Moses, Sinai Covenant, etc etc, is entirely mythical, and has been proven so by archaeology.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      American 'exceptionalism", Jewish "exceptionaliam", (tribalism, AND their trial gods), is utterly debunked by history. (It also debunks Yahweh, ... the god of the armies ... ), is 100 % delusion. The "promised land", ("chosen people") is simply and only self granted "land claims" authentication. The Bible is NOT a real-estate contract.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • mama k

      realbuckyball said: "It also ignores the fact that the Founders DID NOT consider this a "Christian Nation".

      Well, to clarify, they were Christian, but they had very Deistic leanings. And they were so fed up with the fighting that was going on between different Christian sects in their own states, that they made sure that the founding principles (as in the Constitution and its First Amendment) were all about freedom and not about any particular religion.

      October 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • lloyd roberts

      It would really help you a lot to study real history. I am not really even sure what you mean by democracy, but the US certainly was not the first country to a democracy. Here's the part that will really get you. Most of the founding fathers were enlightened protestant deist's, people who believed in a loving GOD, bus disdained organized religion. The bible was written by man and approved for publication only after Constantine had it written the way he and the early church leaders wanted it. You got a lot to learn

      October 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  14. DocHollywood

    And you would have many people point to this article and say "see, there was discrimination in the past, but it's ALL IN THE PAST now". But the fact is, discrimination still exists and probably will for a long time, because it's taught parent to child, not by actual experiences. And so articles like this are very important for the public to read and digest. For those who wish to end discrimination, don't practice it around your children. And for those who do, we just need to wait until you're either educated, or die off.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • chitowngal08

      I agree. I think this article is eye opening. This has and will continue to be practiced and I don't think people will get it until it happens to them.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Bibletruth

      Education is no cure for discrimination...in fact discrimination in academia is some of the most blatant and if you want to consider all the problems out there....who is running the show? the uneducated or the educated?

      October 14, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • arnie

      you are truly an imbecile, Bibletruth. Do you ever read back to yourself what you write – to see if it remotely makes any sense?

      October 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  15. john

    In truth, the continued existence of the Jewish People throughout history is perhaps the biggest “wonder” of history since creation. Nation after nation threatens destroy the Jewish People. Yet they all fade away into oblivion, while the Jewish Nation survives and thrives.

    As we say each year at the Passover Seder, “In very generation they rise up against us to destroy us, but the Holy One Blessed Be He saves us from their hands.” And for this we are eternally grateful…

    October 14, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • snowboarder

      john – the jewish nation didn't exist for more than 2000 years until it was recreated by the victors or WW2. your statement couldn't possibly be more inaccurate.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Edwin

      snowboarder: john used the terms nation and people as synonyms. How is it you could not tell this? He is correct - the Jewish People have survived for millenia being persecuted, picked on, or attacked.

      It reminds me of what someone said once about Jewish Holidays. Most essentially boil down to 'They tried to kill us. They failed. So let's eat.'

      October 14, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • chitowngal08

      They tried to kill us. They failed. So let's eat.' Thank you, Edwin. If people really did check their history, they would find out that the Jewish people have been around alot longer than Americans and 2000 years.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  16. Zaperdon

    Give me a friggin break – do these people ever stop complaining?

    October 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Kay

      Do you???

      October 14, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • bwannabob

      Zaperdon- please insert a radioactive stick up your corn hole and drive it through your putrifying sphincter

      October 14, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • krussell

      How about a little sympathy here. It's not like they have an international organization that does nothing but blacklist people who they think don't like them!

      October 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Edwin

      Zaperdon: yes, they do. When the rest of the world stops discriminating against them, over and over. But strangely, that hasn't happened yet. Why should jews keep quiet about it - the only people offended are the ones who need to hear the most.

      My parents tell a story about looking for an apartment. The application was accepted and everything was going fine until the landlord turned to my dad and said, "one last question - your name sounds very jewish. Are you a jew?" - and that was it, no apartment. Nowadays the landlord would have to be more careful about how they discriminate, of course, but they still do.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:40 am |
  17. Mark Anderson

    It is ashame that Obama will set these people back 50 years. "The White House declined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request on Tuesday to meet U.S. President Barack Obama during a UN conference in New York at the end of the month." Instead, Obama dicided to do an episode of the telivision show THE VIEW.
    To compound this insult Obama never fails to apologize to the Muslims on our behalf. Sad very Sad.
    The jews have no hope if Obama is re elected.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Kay

      And you think the US and the US President have to cater to Netanyahu...why??? The man is demanding that the US draw a red line. Since when does *he* get to demand *anything* from the US?

      Sorry, but Netanyahu has always been a warmonger...and we don't need to cave into his "demands".

      This isn't about Israel. Or about their security needs. It's all about Benjamin Netanyahu.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • frapolusa

      Is anyone REALLY surprised at Obama's cow-towing to Muslims......afterall, the guy's name is Barrack HUSSEIN Obama....HUSSEIN!!! hello people?!?!

      October 14, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • ForGoodOfAll

      @Kay, I agree with you 100%!

      October 14, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • chitowngal08

      I agree with Kay as well. 100%. What a moronic thing to say. Bibi is on a one man mission. And he will be hiding in bunker when the fight he picks, gets answered. To heck with his people.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  18. Name

    How did he get to be in a position of authority? Probably a pattern of violence against other weaker members of his corporate ladder when he's in the hot seat.

    October 14, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  19. treblemaker

    The true believer in the Way that the Messiah has shown us does not discriminate between the different faiths. He doesn't have to. The spirit of the man who made the lives of those Jewish dental students a living hell had to answer to the Lord when he came before Him after his earthly life was over. All stories of persecution need to be exposed to the light, whether Jewish, black, or any other group of people. Calling this episode a "reign of terror" is a travesty, doing a severe injustice to the victims of the true "reign of terror" known as the Holocaust–THAT was a reign of terror, along with the millions of Russians and other European and Asian peoples that were butchered between the two World Wars.

    God doesn't allow this to happen–what He allows in the world is FREE WILL choices, and the choices we make determine the life we live. His way is the only way to live in order to ensure peace of mind and heart, and as a reminder to the wretched human race caught in the throes of the "devil's playground" known as Earth, sent us his beloved Son not to pray to the Son, but to follow His Son on the path that was set out by HIm so we humans with the eternal spirit within us can find the right and only Way back home.

    October 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • snowboarder

      treble – that is some seriously crazy stuff.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One


      There is no afterlife and no Judgment. It is a sad thing, but some people will die having made lives miserable for a lot of people and having prospered greatly while doing so. Dead, just like everyone else will be dead in the natural course of things, they cannot be touched by non-existent God, vengeance upon their descendents, mutilation of their corpses or anything else.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • good one

      Yikes!How can you walk around,believing the human race is wretched,and this is the devil's play-ground?Seek help-immediately!Is this what they are teaching christians these days?It would be nice if there was a way to recognize folks like you,as we walk down the street-so we could scramble to the other side.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • chitowngal08

      I am Catholic and I do agree with your assessment of Jesus. But...we must fight these injustices that are happening in the devils playground. And I do believe that we are in the devil's playground right now.

      October 14, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  20. Missy

    Shame, shame, shame on Emory for having allowed this to happen! Thank goodness, it's not too late for justice as well as healing.

    October 14, 2012 at 10:58 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.