Free Speech Follies
The Brandeis Brief
October 2012
Issue #8
The Brandeis Center extends a warm welcome to all of its new readers.  After a successful social media campaign, the Center now enjoys nearly 750 highly engaged friends at its newly expanded Facebook page, many of whom now also subscribe to The Brandeis Brief.  In this issue, the Brief explores some of the recent shenanigans at the University of California.  For many years, UC has been criticized for tolerating an atmosophere hostile to Jewish and Israeli students on multiple campuses.  Finally, over the last several weeks, some progress appeared likely.  First, the UC campus climate committee issued an important report about the climate for Jewish students.  Then the California Assembly issued a strongly written resolution condemning campus anti-Semitism.  As this issue explains, however, the backlash from anti-Israel elements has been furious.  Painting Jewish advocates as powerful censors, anti-Israel activists have insisted that their freedom of speech is in jeopardy.  This claim is preposterous, but it is repeated so frequently as to drive the campus anti-Semitism narrative on and off campus.  Two articles in this issue analyze the current situation and explain how First Amendment doctrines are being abused. The most effective responses to campus anti-Semitism do not require any limitations on constituitonally protected speech, as we explain in our LDB Best Practices Guide for Combating Campus Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism.
California's Free Speech Follies

UC Berkeley campus   

Jewish advocates are often unfairly misrepresented as trying to suppress speech that is critical of Israel, especially on university campuses. Sadly, this trope has great resonance in many circles, because it echoes age-old stereotypes in which Jews are seen as all-powerful, conspiratorial and controlling.  On California university campuses, where anti-Semitism and anti-Israel agitation remain epidemic, this misperception threatens to derail any real prospect for change.  LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus explains this dilemma in a recent column

Free Speech Follies II: The Student Association Strikes Back

Berkeley logo   

Responding to these "California free speech follies," the University of California Student Association issued a radical statement condmemning HR 35 and other efforts to address campus anti-Semitism.  In other words, after the California legislature finally took a stand in favor of Jewish students and against campus anti-Semitism, an organization representing all UC students has angrily rejected the legislature's very well-intentioned work.  LDB Director Richard Cravatts (Simmons/SPME) analyzes this newest campus development.  Cravatts explains how the anti-Israel narrative employs what Kenneth L. Marcus has called "First Amendment Opportunism."  As friends of the Brandeis Center are now are, LDB has worked to change the narrative in many ways, including by developing tools to combat campus anti-Semitism that are completely First Amendment-proof.  This can be seen, for example, in the new LDB Best Practices Guide for Combating Campus Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism.
Welcome Stephen R. Greenwald
Stephen Greenwald    

The Brandeis Center has just made another high-profile addition to its prestigious Legal Advisory Board, appointing Stephen Greenwald, the Immediate Past President of both the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and Metropolitan College of New York. The appointment is yet another indication of LDB's growing strength and capacity to combat campus anti-Semitism. Given all of the developments on American college campuses, it is vital that we build capacity for any legal challenges that prove necessary.  In this sense, Mr. Greenwald's appointment could not be more timely.

Join us on Facebook!


After a successful social media campaign, LDB's revamped Facebook page now enjoys nearly 750 highly engaged users.  (Probably more by the time you read this!)  Join us on Facebook in order to get regular updates on LDB and campus anti-Semitism and to join in the conversation!


TheBrandeis Center thanks those who support our efforts to defend Jewish university and college students.  Thanks to a generous matching contribution from an anonymous funder, new contributions will be matched up to $100,000 at a 1:2 ratio.  This enables new funders to leverage their giving more effectively to combat campus anti-Semitism.  Contributions to the Brandeis Center are tax-deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and can be made securely online or through personal or foundation checks.  Contributions to the Brandeis Center support our mission of advancing the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promoting justice for all.  Specifically, they make it possible for the Brandeis Center to combat campus anti-Semitism through research, education and legal advocacy.  Please help us to do this urgent work!
In This Issue
Best Practices
Follies Redux
Asians, the New Jews?
Civic Leadership
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The Louis D. Brandeis Center is a nonprofit organization supported by individuals, groups and foundations that share our concern about Jewish college students.  Contributions are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  To support our efforts to combat campus anti-Semitism, please contact us at
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Kenneth Marcus

Can We Help You to Fight Campus Anti-Semitism? 

The Louis D. Brandeis Center stands ready if we can help you to combat anti-Semitism in higher education. Please contact us if you are a student or professor who needs our help.  We are also available to provide technical assistance to university administrators who are interested in achieving legal compliance and best practices for eliminating campus anti-Semitism.