New Text Messages Show Columbia Deans Sneering at ‘Privilege’ of Jewish Students

The deans at the center of the Columbia University texting scandal scoffed that Jewish students concerned about the eruption of anti-Semitism on campus are “coming from a place of privilege” and suggested those students have more institutional support than their peers because of their supposed wealth, according to new messages reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

The messages, obtained by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and released on Tuesday, show that three of the deans—Susan Chang-Kim, Matthew Patashnick, and Cristen Kromm—engaged in a more extensive pattern of disparagement than has been previously reported and shed new light on how Columbia officials reacted in real-time to a panel on anti-Semitism held during the university’s alumni weekend.

“I’m going to throw up,” Chang-Kim, Columbia’s vice dean and chief administrative officer, wrote to her colleagues roughly an hour into the panel. The text’s timing aligns with remarks from an audience member and daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Orly Mishan, who described how her own daughter, a Columbia sophomore, “was hiding in plain sight” on campus after the Oct. 7 attacks.

“Amazing what $$$$ can do,” replied Kromm, the dean of undergraduate student life.

The new messages suggest that the administrators, who were placed on leave pending a university investigation after a Free Beacon report revealed snippets of their text exchanges, see concerns about anti-Semitism as manifestations of entitlement.

“They will have their own dorm soon,” Patashnick, the associate dean for student and family support, said of Jewish students, after the head of Columbia Hillel, Brian Cohen, said that many Jews felt more comfortable spending time at the Kraft Center he runs than in their own dormitories following the Oct. 7 attacks.

“Comes from such a place of privilege,” Chang-Kim wrote two minutes later. “Trying to be open minded to understand but the doors are closing.”

The deans also ridiculed Cohen’s efforts to provide support services, including psychological counseling, to Jewish and Israeli students following Oct. 7, implying that they were receiving special treatment denied to other groups.

“Not all heroes wear capes,” Patashnick texted sarcastically. “If only every identity community had these resources and support,” Kromm replied.

In 2024, Columbia hosted separate graduation events for black, Asian, Native American, LGBT, and “Latinx” students. Jews were one of the only minority groups not to host a ceremony of their own.

The release of the texts comes as Columbia faces renewed pressure to take action over the ordeal. A petition put forth on Tuesday by Columbia alumni, students, and community members calls on the Ivy League institution to remove Sorett, Chang-Kim, Patashnick, and Kromm “from their positions immediately.”

“All four of the deans implicated must be held accountable and terminated. This incident exposes a profound issue at Columbia that cannot be dismissed,” the petition reads. “Failure to address this quickly can only be interpreted as a lack of seriousness and urgency in dealing with campus antisemitism within Columbia’s administration. Columbia University must deliver an immediate and unambiguous message that antisemitism will not be tolerated.”

Sorett, Chang-Kim, Kromm, and Patashnick did not respond to requests for comment. A Columbia spokeswoman pointed the Free Beacon to a June 12 statement saying the school is “committed to combatting antisemitism and taking sustained, concrete action to ensure Columbia is a campus where Jewish students and everyone in our community feels safe, valued, and able to thrive.”

Other text messages obtained by the Free Beacon from the same panel show the four deans dismissing claims of anti-Semitism.

At one point during the panel, Chang-Kim texted Sorett to say the panel “is difficult to listen to but I’m trying to keep an open mind to learn about this point of view.” Sorett responded, “Yup.”

Kromm, meanwhile, used vomit emojis—”🤢🤮”—to reference an op-ed from Columbia campus rabbi Yonah Hain that raised concerns about the “normalization of Hamas” on campus.

After the release of those messages, Sorett issued a private apology to Columbia’s Board of Visitors, saying the texts did not “indicate the views of any individual or the team.” He later informed his colleagues that Chang-Kim, Patashnick, and Kromm had been placed on leave. Sorett was not included in the disciplinary move, and a Columbia spokesman declined to say why.

Shortly thereafter, on June 21, the Free Beacon obtained a photo of another text sent during the panel that showed Sorett sneering at Cohen. After Chang-Kim sent Sorett a sarcastic text calling Cohen “our hero,” Sorett responded, “LMAO.”

On the same day, Sorett broke his silence on his involvement in the scandal in an email to the Board of Visitors. “I deeply regret my role in these text exchanges and the impact they have had on our community,” he wrote. “I am cooperating fully with the University’s investigation of these matters. I am committed to learning from this situation and to the work of confronting antisemitism, discrimination, and hate at Columbia.”

Sorett sent that message after calling the cops on a Free Beacon reporter who knocked on his apartment door to ask him about his involvement in the texts. While Sorett never came to the door or asked the Free Beacon to leave, when the Free Beacon left the building, several New York City police and campus security officers were outside. A Columbia security official said Sorett “raised a whole big issue.”

The new texts obtained by the committee, meanwhile, show Kromm and Chang echoed an assessment from Patashnick that Cohen took “full advantage of this moment” for its “huge fundraising potential.”

Those texts were sent around the time Cohen cited a visit to Columbia’s campus from prominent Israeli politician and human rights activist Natan Sharansky.

“Who was the speaker he mentioned?” Kromm asked. “Natan Sharansky,” Patshnick responded before sending a link to Sharansky’s Wikipedia page.