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Schmooze Vol. 1 Issue 3:
Opinion Piece

This does not at all reflect the opinion of the Association of Jewish Psychologists
At AJP we try to provide a wide tent for varying opinions of our members. We know that not everyone will agree with every opinion expressed, but we welcome rebuttals and rejoinders. Here is this issue’s opinion.

The Case Against DEI

Stephanie Bot, Psy.D., C.Psych, Talia Klein, Ph.D.,Ilyse Spertus, Ph.D., Janice Weintraub, M.A., C.Psych


Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) was assumed to be a promising paradigm to inspire the expansion and advocacy of human rights within organizations and beyond. Adopted quickly and widely without reflection, research, consideration of its underpinnings (ie. critical race theory) and implications, DEI is now a dominating force in many institutions. We suggest that the enthusiasm for, and monetary investment in, diversity training has outpaced the available evidence that such programs are effective in achieving their goals. Of great concern, recent events across North American institutions have revealed DEI’s dangerous shortcomings with respect to its current interpretation and application.


DEI drives antisemitism by purveying values antithetical to Jewish inclusion and psychological ethos. It pits identities against each other, categorizing groups into reductionistic “Oppressor” or “Oppressed” classifications to determine who is worthy of consideration under DEI. Jews have historically surmounted oppression yet remain discriminated against making them privileged outliers while Israel, the Jew among nations, is cast as the quintessential Oppressor under this rubric. Jews are endangered by a movement that lauds victimhood, debases achievement, and spuriously divides the world in binary terms.


DEI heralds victimhood over development of agency and resiliency. As psychologists we need to stand for social support systems promoting personal growth, adaptability, and empowerment. “Equality of opportunity” is the standard to seek so all intersectional identities can participate productively. This requires dissolution of simplistic categorical frames in favor of complex consideration of needs to bring disadvantaged groups resources enabling optimal participation.


Our profession has the moral obligation to address the universality of human suffering. We must protect Martin Luther King’s dream that children will be judged only by the content of their character. DEI ideology moves away from this dream. As Jews, we cannot indulge its validity as a valuable and just mechanism to create positive change. As Psychologists we cannot work under its broken umbrella because what it stands for is antithetical to mental health. It is beyond repair. As psychologists, we can do better.

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