October 11, 2016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | On Respecting Religious Holidays

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To the editor:

My name is Carly Popofsky and I am a Cornell Graduate (Arts and Sciences, 2008) living in New York City. I also happen to be Jewish, and, like I do every fall, spent two days observing the Holiday of Rosh Hashanah with my family. Another seasonally recurring event that happened over the past two days was the nightly receipt of a solicitation call from the Cornell Annual Fund.

Beyond the fact that I have already given to Cornell this year, nothing makes me feel more disrespected than Cornell, a University with a strong Jewish community, contacting Jewish alumni on a Jewish holiday to ask for additional donations without the forethought to avoid contact during one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar year.

Few things are as special to me as my Cornell education, and it is something I would like to keep supporting for generations to come — but I would like to feel good about it. I am shocked and appalled that the Annual Fund has not taken holidays into consideration during the plans for solicitation (though I am certain no one will be calling alumni on Christmas), and hope this will be addressed immediately.

Carly Popofsky ’08

Editor’s note: In the time since this letter was written, the phone-banking policy has been changed. From this point forward, no alumni will be contacted for the Annual Giving Program on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Passover.

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