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FACING THE CHARGE OF RACISM: New Research on Jewish Student Identity

FACING THE CHARGE OF RACISM: New Research on Jewish Student Identity

Aryeh Weinberg, IJCR, March, 2012

Accusations of racism have become a staple of anti-Israel protest on campus and, for Jewish students, these charges can negatively impact their college experience and raise important questions about their Jewish identity. The irony of the racism accusation is that young Jews arefirmly committed to the global world in which they live. They embrace a world with permeable boundaries and multiple identities that celebrate and validate diversity, as do most young Americans. It should come as no surprise that Jewish students are committed to an expansive and inclusive vision of the world. Many are raised in homes that reflect the changing demographics of the 21st century. Nearly half (45%) of Jewish college students arrived on campus having been raised in a family with some level of diversity. The most effective defense against charges of racism is to embrace and celebrate the full spectrum of Jewish identity.

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Call for Entries


The Institute for Jewish & Community Research announces the 2012 call for submissions for the Gary A. Tobin Awards for excellence in student reporting on anti-Semitism. Works produced by students are some of the most influential in setting the tone of campus discourse. The Tobin Award's goal is to stimulate interest and activity in writing that restores rational and civil dialogue on campus.

Opinion Makers
RomirowskyHoms and Khan Yunis: A Tale of Two Cities
Donna Robinson Divine and Asaf Romirowsky, Pundicity, February 27, 2012

This narrative of unremitting violence meted out on a largely peaceful population was spun when the first shots were fired by Israel in its three-week attack on Gaza; but it is actually the story of Homs, a city besieged by the Syrian regime because its citizens want freedom and are demanding that the dictatorship end its mighty grip on power.

Italian FlagHeckling Israel
Kenneth L. Marcus, The Jerusalem Post, March 13, 2012

Over the years, many lectures by Israeli officials and supporters have been canceled, delayed, or obstructed in the face of rambunctious protests. Lately, such incidents have multiplied in a concerted effort to shut down pro-Israel activities. The goal of such protests is not merely to disrupt, embarrass, or discomfort pro-Israeli speakers but to silence them.

The Tenth Man
Marc Tracy,Tablet, January 7, 2012

On Hitchen's Jewishness: Hitchens was a lifelong subversive who identified subversiveness with Jewishness; and a lifelong atheist who identified atheism with Jewishness; and, it did so happen, a lifelong Jew. That he did not know this and turned out as he did is evidence to you of chance, as it no doubt was to him, but to me it is evidence of something else.


Julius RosenwaldThe Jewish retail giant and the black community

Stephen Whitfield, The Jewish Chronicle, February 10, 2012

Enormous wealth had failed to immunize Julius Rosenwald from bigotry, or at least from an awareness of a blot on democratic ideals. Perhaps his capacity for empathy might have sprung from an appreciation of the sting of prejudice. But whatever the roots of Rosenwald's special philanthropic commitments, his interest in enhancing black education was neither casual nor superficial.

Jewish FederationAmerican Jews Aren't Rushing to Open Their Pockets

Yaron Neudorfer, eJewish Philanthropy, February 28, 2012

According to recent media reports [in the Hebrew press], Jewish federations in North America are studying the possibility of changing the way in which their donor funds are allocated.

Harvard CrestHarvard's anti-Israel conference

Andrea Levin, The Times of Israel, February 27, 2012  


Harvard University seeks to quell the growing scandal surrounding its high-profile hosting of the "One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution," whose topic is dissolution of the Jewish state.

Louis FarrakhanAmid controversy, Louis Farrakhan gives speech at UC Berkeley

Shannon Najmabadi, The Daily Californian, March 10, 2012  


Religious leader Louis Farrakhan spoke to a full Wheeler Auditorium at the Afrikan Black Coalition Conference Saturday, despite concerns voiced by campus groups regarding anti-Semitic, homophobic and other controversial statements they say he has made in the past.

Paris school websiteParis University cancels radical anti-Israel conference 

Ynetnews, February 27, 2012

The University of Paris 8, formerly a part of the Sorbonne, has decided to cancel a conference that was scheduled to be held by a pro-Palestinian group at the establishment on Monday.

Mark YudalUC president condemns anti-Israel acts on campus

Terence Chea, San Francisco Chronicle, March 8, 2012  


The head of the University of California on Thursday condemned recent anti-Israel incidents on UC campuses and called for greater tolerance and civility.

Canadian FlagMinister Kenney issues statement on 'Israeli Apartheid Week'

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, March 11, 2012  


Like many Canadians, I remain deeply concerned about the events and activities associated with the so-called 'Israeli Apartheid Week.' In recent years, 'Israeli Apartheid Week' has become a fixture on Canada's university campuses, which all too often is accompanied by anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and bullying.

Italian FlagWill most people remain silent as Holocaust denial permeates Italy's mainstream?
Giulio Meotti, Ynet News, February 29, 2012

Isn't Holocaust's denial going mainstream if even an Italian publication sees no problem in running an article about "disinfectants such as Zyklon B"?

GraffitiAnti-Semitism in the Presbyterian Church
Rachel Hirshfeld, Israel National News, February 9, 2012  

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs called for the Presbyterian Church to "take concrete actions to address the anti-Israel, anti-Zionist, and at times anti-Semitic content that has been all too common in the church's Israel Palestine Mission Network".


Henrique CaprilesChávez Stirs Up Anti-Semitism Against Rival
Matthew Fishbane, Tablet, February 16, 2012  

[A] state radio profile of Capriles was titled "The Enemy is Zionism"-because in the popular imagination, and to some extent from abroad, Capriles Radonski is thought, as his name might suggest, to be Jewish, and Chávez seems to have every intention of keeping it that way.


Highlight: Germany

BundestagGerman study says Holocaust education might fuel anti-Semitism
Dan Fleshler, Haaretz, February 19, 2012  

A new study on anti-Semitism, commissioned by the German Parliament, came to the distressing, widely publicized conclusion that 20% of Germans are "latent" anti-Semites.

Dieter GraumannGerman mayor criticized for anti-Semitism
Benjamin Weinthal, The Jerusalem Post, February 9, 2012  

Dr. Dieter Graumann, the president of Germany's Central Council of Jews slammed Aachen Mayor Hilde Scheidt for her defense of an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel cartoon and her efforts to denigrate two prominent German-Jewish writers because they criticized modern anti-Semitism and radical Islam.

Wolfgang NiersbachSoccer / German federation slams anti-Semitic harassment of Israeli Itay Shechter
Reuters, Haaretz, February 12, 2012  

Germany's soccer federation declared Tuesday it will not tolerate anti-Semitic or racist attacks after a small group of people verbally abused Israeli player Itay Shechter during a Kaiserslautern training session.

Nazi Drinking BeerFilm offers an inside look at Germany's neo-Nazi music scene
Toby Axelrod, JTA, February 24, 2012  

A new documentary is shining light on Germany's neo-Nazi music scene and the role it plays in cultivating a violent far-right subculture.

I Sleep in Hitler's RoomU.S. Jewish author releases alarming account of anti-Semitism in Germany
Aimee Neistat, Haaretz, February 24, 2012  

After spending six months traveling throughout Germany and visiting close to 40 cities, writer Tuvia Tenenbom, has released a book revealing his scathing impressions of the anti-Semitism that continues to exists there today.


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