Dr. Mauricio Karchmer leaves a “campus without compassion”; inspired by YU’s values and elite education


Dr. Mauricio Karchmer, an esteemed MIT computer science professor who resigned in December over the university’s pervasive, unchecked antisemitism, has found a new home: Yeshiva University.

Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, welcomed Dr. Karchmer by placing this appointment in the context of recent events: “There are moments in time when history invites us to participate in its very unfolding,” he said. “This is such a moment, and Dr. Karchmer has shown by his voice, actions, and moral clarity how to be a leader who is a world-class professor in his field and a role model to us all.”

Dr. Karchmer, an expert in Theoretical Computer Science and Quantitative Finance, who taught electrical engineering, computer science, and algorithms to more than 700 MIT students annually, began his tenure at YU this week, teaching Portfolio Management at the Sy Syms School of Business and Math for Computer Science. Later that evening, Dr. Karchmer joined Rabbi Berman for a fireside chat introduced by Dr. Noam Wasserman, the Dean of the Sy Syms School of Business, where they discussed the moral and educational crisis in higher education today reflected by the sharp rise in antisemitism on university campuses after October 7th.

Following his much-publicized resignation, Dr. Karchmer was approached by dozens of universities across the U.S. and Israel, eager to hire the prominent computer scientist. But after speaking with YU, Dr. Karchmer’s decision became clear: YU is an institution that leads with its values-based-education, preparing students for what they really need in life—to become high-achievers with a strong moral compass, values that are essential in today’s fraught cultural landscape.

“YU is unique because it consists of extremely bright, accomplished faculty and students who could be in any university in the U.S., but they choose Yeshiva University because of what Yeshiva University is, what it stands for,” said Dr. Karchmer, who was a lecturer at MIT since 2019 and whose Introduction to Algorithms course was taken by over 60% of undergrads. “These are the kind of students I want to teach, and who will make a positive difference in the world.”

Even before he got to YU, students reached out to show support. “I was very moved,” he said.

Dr. Karchmer, a Mexican Jew who earned his PhD from Hebrew University and his MS from Harvard, said that it wasn’t until the reaction to the Hamas massacre that he was forced to reconsider his dream job. Following that barbaric, unprovoked terrorist attack that killed more than 1,200 Israelis and others, he asked the head of his department to issue a statement of support for Israelis and Jews. Such statements had been issued in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and after a wave of anti-Asian violence, so he expected similar sympathy for Jews.

None came. “I was shocked that my institution—led by people who are meant to see the world rationally—could not simply condemn a brutal terrorist act.” In fact, he said, faculty members are the ones stoking campus antisemitism.

But Dr. Karchmer was most disturbed by the suffering he saw among his Jewish and Israeli students.

“Many campuses claim to have safe spaces, but emotionally, Jewish students feel very unsafe. Nowadays at MIT and many other campuses, Israeli and Jewish students are not learning much because they are so emotionally vulnerable.”

Indeed, YU, as the world’s flagship Jewish university, has been keenly aware of the severe stress faced by Jewish students and faculty following October 7. As a counterweight to the rise in antisemitism on many U.S. campuses today, YU offers a values-based, elite education where Jewish students, and professors like Dr. Karchmer, feel secure and supported.

YU attracts students who represent the values of the institution, who are role models of their Torah values,” Dr. Karchmer said. “I’m very impressed that YU leads by living its values.”


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