Tel Aviv – Viral Video Shows Israeli Professor of Culture Mocking Jewish Men for Putting on Tefillin in Airport

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    Tel Aviv – A woman who loudly mocked a Chabad rabbi and a Jewish man for putting on tefillin in Ben Gurion airport on Monday has been identified as a visiting assistant professor of Israeli studies at the University of Maryland’s Gilderhorn Institute for Israel Studies.

    Dr. Pnina Peri, who earned her Ph.D. at The University of London, is a senior lecturer for the liberal arts department of Sapir Academic College in Hof Ashkelon and Levinsky Teacher’s training college.

    Arutz Sheva reported that Peri was traveling home to Maryland on the morning of May 28th when she saw a Chabad shaliach helping another traveler put on tefillin at the airport.

    Chabad shaliach Rabbi Meir Hertzel, told Israel’s News 20 that he was flying out of Ben Gurion, and finding himself with an extra hour before his own flight, decided to spend his time by giving Jewish passengers a chance to put on tefillin.

    He approached several people with his tefillin, including Gad Kaufman, who appeared happy to take advantage of the opportunity, when Peri began her tirade.

    “I continued putting tefillin on the Jewish man who asked the woman for quiet so that he could pray for a few moments,” said Rabbi Hertzel. “The woman did not give him any peace, screaming, making strange noises and bothering him until he finished with his prayers.”

    Kaufman posted video of the incident to Facebook, noting that Peri had a crazy look on her face as she began to mock and disturb him and Rabbi Hertzel.

    In the just over one minute long video, which includes several unnatural bouts of loud laughter, Peri can be heard asking the men repeatedly why they have to be putting on tefillin near her in the general seating area instead of moving over to the side and telling Kaufman, “you are bothering me, I am not bothering you.”

    “It was embarrassing at that moment to be an Israeli Jew and to see what it is like to be chased by the Bohemian left,” wrote Kaufman. “If I were a Muslim or a Christian, would her behavior have been more legitimate?”

    Kaufman’s video has 274,000 Facebook views and was shared by more than 3,700 people on the social media site. It was met with numerous comments voicing incredulity and disgust, with Facebook user Nava Markovich writing, “Simply shocking. Here in Israel, a Jewish woman showing this kind of anti-Semitism?”

    After learning the identity of the woman who harassed him, Kaufman took to Facebook again, posting a collage of pictures of Peri smilingly mocking him and writing, “this is a professor of education, values and culture, with a psychiatric smile like this. Education that is anti-Jewish. Intellectuals of this sort served as informers on fellow Jews in Nazi Germany so that they could be sent to the gas chamber.”

    Peri is the wife of sociology professor Yoram Peri, who chaired the new Israel fund from 1999 to 2001. Considered to be an expert on multicultural theories and cross-cultural communications, she is the author of two books, The Place of Gender in Women’s Professional Choice and Plural and Congruence Among Cultural Divisions.

    Dr. Hayim Lapin, director of the University of Maryland’s Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Program and Center for Jewish Studies, which includes the school’s Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, said that his only knowledge of the incident comes from media coverage.

    “My colleagues and I are currently working to understand the details of the situation,” Lapin told VIN News. “It is important to state than the Meyerhoff Center very highly values the right of every person to religious freedom and expression. Until we know more, it is premature to comment further.”

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    34 COMMENTS

    1. She is probably a poor soul yearning
      Just like small children who can’t talk yet and throw tantrums
      May hashem help her find herself and reconnect to her source

    2. What is most troubling, is that she is a teacher with the power to shape minds and mold attitudes. Her privileges should be reviewed and rescinded until she can demonstrate to a competent clinician that she is stable. Her behavior was deeply disturbing not merely because of her apparent prejudice, but by the hysterical display of deepseated emotion. That was NOT a display of intellectual rectitude.

    3. Her behavior is scurrilous and insulting, but I pity her. She must be a very unhappy woman. I would hazard a guess that she may have interested in some Kirov, but was embarrassed to ask. She reminds me of a child who sometimes acts out because negative attention is better than no attention.

      I hope that no one sends her nasty emails as this may drive her away altogether. A kind word offering to educate her about what tefillin are and the mystical implications could accomplish a lot more. As the old saying goes, ” You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

    4. Yoni, this is the elite educated one who are entrusted to educate our youth! Wow they most be soooo bright and tolerant. Only us unedycatedTrump voters are racists

    5. Mr. Moster should be excited by reading this story , finally proof how valuable EDUCATION is….Professor, Author of 2 books & has ZERO morals, ZERO decency.

      So you and your ilk were nebach deprived the chance to be so depraved , because you didnt receive “education” in yeshiva ???

    6. We can all witance what they say
      “The truth hurts”…she can’t be in the place where we are , she can’t believe their are people like us around in the world doing what we’re supposed To..and she’s pained …the tiny bit of yiddiskiet that’s in her just screams …but not in the proper way!by expressing herself with sarcasm, a sarcastic explosion like she had comes from “PAIN”!!!
      Unfortunately there are so many people out in the world, who do admire us , know matter where we go , we never ever think Toyota Camry give up Anytime: of our traditions !!!
      It’s only pure kiddish Hashem!!

    7. I sent an eMail to the University of Maryland as follows:

      “A member of your staff made a fool of herself today at Ben Gurion Airport
      Her name is Pnina Peri
      Is this the image you want to portray of your institution?”

      and here is the reply I got from them:

      Thank you for your comment and keeping us accountable.
      At this point all I know is what has been reported in the media. My colleagues and I are currently working to understand the details of the situation. I can say that the Meyerhoff Center very highly values the right of every person to religious freedom and expression. Until we know more, it is premature to comment further.
      Hayiim Lapin

      Robert H. Smith Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of History
      Department of History
      University of Maryland
      2115 Francis Scott Key Hall
      College Park, MD 20742
      301 405 4296 | hlapin@umd.edu
      http://www.digitalmishnah.org | http://www.eRabbinica.org

      Director
      Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff
      Program and Center for Jewish Studies
      University of Maryland
      4141 Susquehanna Hall
      College Park, MD 20742
      301 405 4975 | jwst-contact@umd.edu
      http://www.jewishstudies.umd.edu

    8. first of all, she she studies Israeli culture so she must be Jewish. Is she? Her name sounds quite Jewish to me. That enforces the argument again about these self hating Zionist Jews. She would fit right by the kotel with the woman for the wall but she doesnt like Tfilin so shes just a simple self hating bigot

    9. Despicable! Shes an obnoxious woman with no self control. Even a goy would have more respect. She sounds like the black woman that ranted on the train to a Jewish man. So she waas screaming and shes laughing. I find it appalling yet perfectly fine with the despicable Israeli culture.

    10. At least now we know
      There were commments on other sites criticizing the Chabadnik saying he strayed from his assigned post

      Now we know
      He was a fellow passenger in Israel!!!!!!
      Asking Jews if they want to put on tefillin and one did!
      Shocking!

      To all the weird (sarcastic?) commenters above who wore that she is a nebach case and especially the guy who amazingly writes that she is crying out for “Kirov”
      Please
      Get your head out of the sand
      This is a very very typical – if not usual- reaction from Jew hating neo nazi liberal leftist Israel
      Just lately they somehow feel more emboldened to do this more openly
      Ask yourself how the world would react if this took place in Europe or USA? It would never be tolerated yet here. NOBODY around said a word… she kept on ranting like a hyena and people just sat there. In Israel!
      Finally we can do something
      Let’s make this sorry excuse or a person pay
      Let her teach a lesson in culture and tolerance
      Write the university and demand her removal and apology to Jews worldwide
      I’ve never seen anything so disgusting
      And in Israel

      • ONLY IN ISRAEL!!! Thts the sad point. The so called “ land of the Jewish People” breeds the most antisemitism imaginable. Im not shocked while deeply appalled to how far a “professor “ can stoop. Its the vile Israeli culture. A black or hispanic wld never have the guts to berate a religious man as a Israeli. Feh!

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