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New Book Exposes Pervasive Anti-Semitism in U.S. Higher Education

The UnCivil University Examines How the American University Has Become a Haven for Hatred and Presents Policy Solutions to Counteract this Disturbing Trend

Washington, DC (November, 29, 2005) – The Institute for Jewish & Community Research announced today the release of The UnCivil University by Dr. Gary Tobin.   The book exposes how American universities have become politicized institutions where ideological bias often trumps good scholarship. The book examines the ideology and expression of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on campus as an example of the systemic ills in higher education, and presents policy solutions to combat this problem.

The book details both how anti-Israel propagandists have targeted U.S. campuses and the extent to which intimidation and threats against Jewish students and faculty have become acceptable.   In recent testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Tobin called for a return to civility on American college campuses. "The problem is not criticism of particular Israeli government policies, which is protected and legitimate discourse," said Tobin, "but rather how a vocal minority attempts to stifle the opinions of those who disagree with them." Rather than being an isolated problem, Tobin and his co-authors show how anti-Semitism has developed into a common problem on U.S. campuses in every geographical region, and in every kind of institution, from community colleges to Ivy League universities.

"The pervasiveness of the twin ideologies of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism are symptoms of a larger malaise at American universities," Tobin said. "Those who take aim at Israel have no problem taking aim at America and at all Western institutions and values. Many administrators, trustees and others have become so fearful of being accused of interfering with academic freedom that they have abdicated their responsibilities to ensure honest research and quality scholarship on campus. Ultimately when universities fail to protect their own standards of civility, the academy's core mission—to educate and enlighten—is placed in doubt."

Dr. Tobin and his colleagues, Aryeh Kaufmann Weinberg and Jenna Ferer, back up their findings with dozens of student accounts and interviews, exhaustive citation of campus media and a gallery of often startling photos of anti-Israel propaganda materials distributed widely on many campuses.   The public is largely unaware of the extent of the intimidation on these campuses, yet continues to fund them through hundreds of billions of dollars in federal and state government funds and philanthropic gifts.  

In addition to documenting the extent of the problem, The UnCivil University offers specific policy recommendations for university administrators, faculty, students, alumnae/i and government officials. "All stakeholders in the university must fulfill their oversight roles to ensure that all students and faculty members can express their religious and political beliefs without fear of retribution," said Tobin.

Free copies of The UnCivil University are available to members of the media for review.   Also, a free downloadable executive summary and a link to purchase the book are available at www.JewishResearch.org.

About Dr. Gary Tobin

Dr. Gary A. Tobin is the president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research in San Francisco. He earned his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He spent 25 years as the director of the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University and on faculty at Washington University, St. Louis.

Dr. Tobin is an expert on race, ethnicity, religion and philanthropy and has consulted with hundreds of non-profits. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and planning reports on a broad range of subjects (www.JewishResearch.org). He is the editor of two volumes about the effects of the racial schism in America, What Happened to the Urban Crisis? and Divided Neighborhoods . His other books include Jewish Perceptions of Anti-Semitism; In Every Tongue: The Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the Jewish People; and The UnCivil University: Politics and Propaganda in American Education . He is working on two monographs entitled Mega-Gifts in American Philanthropy: Vol. 2 and Belief Systems of College Faculty.

About the Institute for Jewish & Community Research

The Institute for Jewish & Community Research, San Francisco, is an independent non-profit dedicated to the security and growth of the Jewish community. The Institute serves as a national and international think tank providing policy research to the Jewish community and society in general.

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