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The educational consultant for Kanye “Ye” West’s unaccredited K-8 private Christian school, who holds a prominent position at two Jewish educational institutions, has resigned, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Tamar Andrews, who worked with Donda Academy since July and officially resigned earlier this month, is the director of early childhood education at both Temple Isaiah and American Jewish University, per websites for both institutions. Allison Samek, president of Temple Isaiah of Los Angeles, told THR in a statement: “Dr. Andrews immediately resigned from Donda Academy following Ye West’s tweet. Her last day was October 11, 2022 as she felt she could no longer support the organization.”
West has been widely condemned in recent days for his repeated antisemitic comments. Andrews has yet to respond to THR’s multiple requests for comment, and AJU declined to share a statement.
The rapper quietly opened Donda Academy, located in Simi Valley, in November 2021. Tuition hovers at $15,000 annually, and to attend, students (which currently total less than 100) are required to sign an NDA, and they are often seen wearing Adidas Yeezy Foam RNR shoes as part of their uniform. The head of school is Pepperdine University graduate student Brianne Campbell (who doubles as choir director for Ye’s Sunday Service group).
West’s antisemitic statements — on social media and interviews — have caused CAA, Balenciaga, Vogue and JP Morgan Chase to say they will no longer work with the star. Adidas, the company West has worked with since 2013 to manufacture and distribute items from his Yeezy clothing and footwear line, have yet to make a statement about the future of their relationship with the musician and designer other than to say the business is “under review.” Morningstar analyst David Swartz told The Washington Post that West’s line generates roughly $2 billion for the German company every year. (Editor’s note: Adidas ended the partnership the morning after this story published.)
However, several Hollywood heavyweights (including Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel and UTA chief Jeremy Zimmer) have elected to speak out against the artist, particularly after an antisemitic banner was hung condoning his hate speech with statements like “Kanye is right about the Jews” over the Los Angeles 405 freeway this past weekend. On Monday, Oct. 24, West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian released a statement condemning antisemitism and hate speech.
“We condemn this weekend’s anti-Semitic incidents. Jewish Angelenos should always feel safe,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti posted on Twitter in response to the incident.
“This is an outrageous effort to fan the flames of antisemitism gripping the nation. This group, known for espousing antisemitism and white supremacist ideology, is now leveraging Ye’s antisemitism and is proof that hate breeds more hate,” tweeted Jeffrey Abrams, ADL of Los Angeles Regional Director.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Andrews supported the academy’s decision to have the parents of each student sign “informal agreements.”
“Honestly, we don’t care if people know about the school,” she said. “The people that want to come to the school are looking for a good Christian school in that area and they know that we’re there … there is also a certain notoriety that comes with being affiliated with Donda. So, I don’t know that we have to advertise, which is a blessing and a curse.”
The academy, which has 16 full-time teachers, is currently accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year.
According to the Donda Academy website: “Donda students grow in their faith and community through daily all-school worship and celebration at Sunday Service,” which is the spiritual home of West’s gospel choir. It continues: “Our experienced educators have an uncompromised passion for creating lifelong learners and Christ-followers.”
Oct. 25, 5 a.m. Updated to include news of Adidas ending their partnership.
Oct. 24, 6:36 p.m. Updated with news of Dr. Andrews’ resignation.
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