By COLlive reporter
Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights is postponing the Open House planned for Tuesday evening to introduce its program to accept to accept Yeshiva and Seminary credits.
A source at the college told COLlive.com that due to “some scheduling conflicts in regards to the venue,” the event is going to be postponed for another date in the very near future.
The open house was scheduled to be held today to answer the public’s questions about the OPAL program (Orientation Program for Adult Learners) which transfers one’s life experience and prior education into general education (CUNY) credits.
College officials explained that if someone comes with 120 Yeshiva credits, Medgar can transfer 60 of these credits and convert them into CUNY credits, towards receiving a minor or major degree.
The development of this program was in the works for years. A group of Lubavitcher individuals in Crown Heights have been in talks with Medgar’s President Dr. Rudy Crew in an effort to give Yeshiva and Seminary graduates the option to obtain a degree for work purposes.
College officials did not respond to the question whether the last-minute postponing of the open house was connected to public comments made by Rabbi Yosef Braun, member of the Crown Heights Badatz, against the initiative.
VIDEO: Rabbi Braun against college credits
Rabbi Braun didn’t mention that one of the people who has been pushing for the program at Medgar was his confidant, Rabbi Eli Cohen, executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC).
“For the past several years, I had been participating with the committee formed by President Crew to ensure that any Chasidic students attending Medgar should be safe and that their religious beliefs should be accommodated,” Cohen told COLlive.com.
“My main focus was on (the) certificate and employment-related courses offered by Medgar that could help our young people find employment to support their families,” he said.
But he added that “I made it clear throughout that I and the organization I represent could not endorse outreach within the community relating to full-time degree programs since that would not be in concert with the teachings of the Rebbe and Chabad.”
He said, “While I was made aware in advance of the Open House that had been planned, I did not pay enough attention to the message that was being conveyed until I looked at it more carefully after I heard the Rov’s comments of last night.”
He thanked Dr. Crew “for being so sensitive and understanding as to the community beliefs and standards and be willing to cancel the Open House at such a late hour after a good deal of effort on the part of his staff.”
An official at Medgar told COLlive.com on Tuesday that “this initiative is moving forward regardless if there was an open house or not.”
“The goal of the open house was to provide an opportunity for people to come in and speak with someone from Medgar about Admissions, Financial Aid and how many credits would be transferable via OPAL. Medgar Evers is committed to assisting anyone and everyone who is interesting in attending Medgar to pursue a BA and or BS.”
VIDEO: Interview with Dr. Rudy Crew of Medgar Evers College