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IJCR Applauds U.S. Civil Rights Commission for Defending Civil Rights of Jewish Students

Civil Rights Agency Responds to IJCR's Evidence of Harassment of Jewish Students on Campuses

San Francisco -- (April 3, 2006) The Institute for Jewish and Community Research praised the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which today affirmed that anti-Semitism on college campuses is a significant problem and said Jewish students should be protected by the Department of Education, and if necessary, by Congress from discrimination and abuse.

In a telephonic meeting, the members of the Commission agreed to recommendations that support anti-discrimination efforts that include fighting anti-Semitism at American universities. Over the past several years, incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on America's college campuses have reached high levels.

"The Commission is taking a moral stand against anti-Semitism. Jewish students have been under attack on many campuses, and now they have the full weight of the Commission behind them when they pursue their claims of anti-Semitism," said Institute President Gary Tobin, who last November testified before the Commission.

Tobin's testimony drew on the research of the Institute, which last December released The UnCivil University, a path-breaking study of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents on American campuses. Many of these incidents – which include harassment of Jewish students and pro-Israel speakers both in and out of the classroom,  the dissemination of anti-Semitic propaganda, and campus rallies featuring anti-Israel speakers who use anti-Semitic language – go largely unaddressed by campus administrators.

Just this past month, state-funded Ramapo College in New Jersey sponsored an art exhibit featuring a  drawing entitled "The Old and New Testament." The drawing pictured a Jewish man holding open a Torah scroll emblazoned with the Nazi emblem and swastika. College administrators not only refused to order that the picture be taken down during the six-week exhibit but expressed its unwavering support for the display, despite the complaints of Jewish students.

"It's high time U.S. college administrators, who receive billions in federal and state taxpayer dollars, defend the rights of all students against harassment and discrimination. Going to college should involve learning, not getting threatened or being called a Nazi," said Tobin.

The UnCivil University is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other bookstores, and was published by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, which is engaged in research and analysis on a broad range of issues including racial and religious identity, philanthropy, and higher education. The Institute, based in San Francisco, is an independent, non-partisan think tank, and provides innovative research and pragmatic policy analyses to Jewish and other communities around the world.

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