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Skullcaps and Bones

Yale’s Jewish society, Eliezer, comes out of the shadows

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker last fall.(Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Time has the scoop on Eliezer, the (not really) secret society at Yale co-founded by Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Though explicitly Jewish, it is not exclusively so:

The society was originally founded as a thumb-in-the-eye to Yale history—Jews, blacks, Muslims, women and gays were prohibited from joining the traditional secret societies. This secret society, however, would include everyone, so long as you were a promising Yale-affiliated leader of tomorrow.

So really, the perfect emblem of our post-Obama meritocratic moment: The sort of place that can host both Ehud Barak and Elliott Gould.

For the skinny on Yale’s actual secret societies, or at least the most famous of them, check out this amazing piece, from a while ago, by Tablet Magazine contributor Ron Rosenbaum.

Yale’s Secret Society That’s Hiding in Plain Sight [Time]
Related: The Last Secrets of Skull and Bones [Esquire/Prison Planet]

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Marty Janner says:


Mindy Portnoy says:

As a Jewish Yale graduate, I always thought of Hillel as the Jewish “not so secret” society! Rabbi Richard (Dick) Israel, Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, then after my time there, Rabbi Jim Ponet, all created a serious intellectual and creative setting. Why is Eliezer needed at all? So that people can still be excluded?

I went to Yale at a time when it was becoming more inclusive!


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Skullcaps and Bones

Yale’s Jewish society, Eliezer, comes out of the shadows

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