Good News and Bad News

March 2015

As campuses across the United States brace for the hatefulness that is "Israel Apartheid Week," we have good news and bad.  On the negative side, conditions on many campuses have deteriorated. Last week, the Brandeis Center teamed up with Trinity College on an important new report demonstrating the extent to which anti-Semitism has spread. Campus anti-Semitism is now demonstrably a national problem -- not just a California problem, not just a bicoastal phenomenon, but a national problem. On the positive side, some in the Jewish community are fighting back. The Brandeis Center is using legal tools to address recent problems. And we are finding law students across the country who are preparing to join the battle.  In February, LDB launched new law student chapters at Brooklyn, CUNY, Cornell, Emory, and Loyola Chicago law schools. We also met with administrators at major universities in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York to discuss best practices for combating campus anti-Semitism, while keynoting a major summit in Boston and delivering presentations at Harvard and Cardozo law schools. As we continue our campaign against campus anti-Semitism, we are grateful for your support, and we always remember that we could not continue without you.


Alarming study on U.S. campus anti-Semitism levels is a wakeup call


The Brandeis Center and Trinity College have jointly released a major study of American Jewish university students, finding that a majority experienced or witnessed at least one anti-Semitic incident during a single year. 
This study should be a wakeup call for American higher education, the Jewish community, and civil rights organizations.


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College Students Gather in Boston to 'Break the Hate'

Shelley Sackett, Jewish Journal

Participants heard from a trio of the country's most renowned scholars on anti-Semitism, a heavyweight lineup that included Kenneth Marcus, former staff director at the United States Commission on Civil Rights, who founded the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law; Kenneth Stein, Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History and Israeli Studies at Emory University and director of the school's Institute for the Study of Modern Israel; and Deborah Lipstadt, the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, and frequent public commentator on Holocaust denial.

ASUC Senate Passes Bill Condemning Anti-Semitism

Bianca Carrillo, Brandeis Blog  


Fantastic news for UC Berkley's Jewish students came this week. On Wednesday, February 25th, the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) unanimously passed a bill in their senate that condemns campus anti-Semitism. Pushed forward by ASUC Senator Ori Herschmann and endorsed by prominent campus leaders like the ASUC President, the Jewish Student Union, and other ASUC Senators, this bill will be integral in fighting anti-Semitism and protecting Jewish students' rights.


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Emory law students launch chapter to fight anti-Semitism

Janel Davis, Atlanta Journal-Constitution



Emory University law school students on Monday launched a student chapter of a national human rights organization to fight anti-Semitism and provide advocacy to victims for free. 


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LDB Builds Law Student Chapter Initiative to Fight Anti-Semitism

Aviva Vogelstein, Brandeis Blog



In a major new initiative launched last year, LDB is working to create an ever-growing nationwide network of inaugural chapters for students at select law schools throughout the United States. Fostering a new generation of leaders who share LDB's mission, LDB chapters fill an important gap in American legal education, offer legal and educational opportunities that members seek, and provide a resource to other members of the university community. 



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Brandeis Center Fights Anti-Semites At UCLA

Peter Malcolm, Truth Revolt


On February 23rd, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law fired off a letter condemning the anti-Semitism within the University of California at Los Angeles' Undergraduate Student Assembly Council (USAC). The Brandeis Center pointed to the videotape of the USAC's debate over whether a student involved in the Jewish community could properly be appointed to the Judicial Board. 


Former Harvard President Larry Summers on Academic Freedom and Anti-Semitism

Lawrence Summers, Brandeis Blog 



I have always had an ambivalent reaction to the famous observation about academic politics that "the fights are so vicious because the stakes are so small" which is variously attributed to Henry Kissinger, Woodrow Wilson, and Columbia's own Wallace Sayre. On the one hand, no one who has lived in a university, and certainly no one who has presided over one, can deny that much energy is dissipated over matters of little ultimate moment. On the other hand, because the ideas universities produce and pass on are so important, the stakes in what they do and therefore in what they fight about are actually immense. This is how I feel about the issue of academic freedom in general and about issues involving Israel and possibly anti-Semitism in particular. 


Ken Marcus: One on One

Shelley Sackett, Jewish Journal


During his Boston stay, Kenneth Marcus (pictured to the left) answered a number of questions for The Jewish Journal of Massachusetts.


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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.
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