The MLA's Biggest Blunders
Kenneth L. Marcus
The Modern Language Association (MLA) blundered repeatedly over its treatment of Israel in the run-up to its annual conference this month. Technically the 30,000 member association was not contemplating a resolution to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel (BDS) per se at this week's upcoming confab. Instead it was debating a halfway measure that insiders observe was intended to be a stepping-stone to worse actions. But it did so in a way that should embarrass every one of its members. This was not just a mistake. This was five blunders rolled into one.
UC Santa Barbara Strengthens Protections for Jewish Students
The Brandeis Blog
The University of California at Santa Barbara has pledged to implement recommendations from the Brandeis Center, and in return LDB has agreed to withdraw its U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Title VI complaint asserting that the university had created a hostile environment for Jewish students. "We are pleased with the university's response, and look forward to see it implemented so that all students - regardless of religious or ethnic identity - are protected from civil rights violations on campus," said LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus.
Brandeis Center Holds First National Law Students' Conference
Sitara Kedilaya, The Brandeis Blog
The Brandeis Center held its first National Conference for Law Students in Los Angeles on January 2nd and January 3rd. This is part of the Brandeis Center's new initiative for law school chapters. The conference focused on educating and engaging law student members of the LDB law school chapters by offering a series of lectures and panel discussions presented by several distinguished attorneys and scholars. Students from the LDB law school chapters of UCLA, American University Washington College of Law, and the University of Pennsylvania were in attendance for the event. The conference concentrated on a variety of legal advocacy and policy issues pertinent to the Brandeis Center's mission, such as freedom of speech, advocacy for civil rights, and combating anti-Semitism.
The Crusade to Make "White Racism" Quintessentially Jewish
Harold Brackman, The Brandeis Blog
|Assemblyman Dov Hikind|
Last Purim, Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind "blacked up" in an incredible display of bad taste. Jews in particular were appalled, but there's a subgroup of Jewish professors who may have felt vindicated. Practitioners of "the whiteness school"-prominent names include the late Michael Paul Rogin, Edward L. Goldstein, Jeffrey Melnick, and Karen Brodkin-argue that for performers like Al Jolson applying burnt cork was a strategy of ethnic assimilation. Not only Jewish performers but their first- and second-generation Jewish audiences are supposed to have derived a sense of belonging to the superior white American majority by application of burnt cork that heightened the contrasting white skin color beneath the black mask.
Backlash Against Israel Boycott Puts American Studies Assn. on Defensive
Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Peter Schmidt's article in The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that pushback from several quarters, including the prospect of litigation by the Louis D. Brandeis Center, have put the American Studies Association on the defensive after the group adopted a controversial anti-Israel boycott resolution.
LDB Staff Attorney Danit Sibovits to Headline Inaugural Event at LDB's Penn Law Chapter
The new Penn Law chapter of the Brandeis Center will host its first public event on February 5, 2013, featuring LDB Staff Attorney Danit Sibovits. On the same day, LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus will address members of the American University's Washington College of Law chapter in Washington, D.C.