San Francisco - October 11, 2010 - As North American Jewish college students return to campus this Fall, their security on some campuses has been questioned by a leading group of antisemitism scholars in a statement on "Contemporary Antisemitism in Higher Education: Manifestations, Sources, and Responses." Assembled for two weeks, July 26 - August 6, 2010, at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., the group warns that "Jewish students and others perceived to be Jews or associated with Jews have been physically and verbally assaulted, threatened, taunted, mocked, and stalked."###
The Institute's antisemitism initiative director, Kenneth L. Marcus, who co-convened this scholarly gathering with UC Santa Cruz Jewish Studies professor Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, commented: "Given the difficult climate at many universities, and the failure of university administrators or government officials to take decisive action, the public needs to know how bad things are getting."
The scholars are issuing this public statement in order to prompt Congress, government officials, university administrators and others to address this resurgent problem. Bolstering this statement Kenneth L. Marcus' new book, Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America (Cambridge University Press), explains why government officials must prosecute campus antisemitism cases under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as these scholars have urged.
Moreover, nearly forty members of Congress have asked U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce by the start of this school year whether his department would prosecute anti-Semitism, but he has not yet responded. On September 24, 2010, Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Brad Sherman introduced legislation to protect students from religious discrimination. Rep. Sherman said, "The Department of Education has the authority under existing law to protect Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh students and, frankly, I'm flabbergasted that they have not already acted to protect these students."
The Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR) is an independent, non-partisan think tank that provides innovative research and pragmatic policy analyses on a broad range of issues including racial and religious identity, philanthropy, and anti-Semitism. www.jewishresearch.org
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