Letter from the Jewish Community to University of California Regents and President

 

Letter from the Jewish Community to UC Regents and President

AMCHA Initiative, August 14, 2012

 

Dear UC Regents and President Yudof:

 

Please find attached a petition signed by over 1,000 members and supporters of the California Jewish community -- including hundreds of UC students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and donors -- who are appalled by the recent decision of the UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom to allow a professor to promote on his class website a boycott of Israel deemed anti-Semitic by the U.S. Department of State. These members and supporters of the Jewish community urge you to take the following reasonable steps to help restore their confidence in the University:

 

1) Publicly acknowledge your responsibility under the California Constitution and the Standing Orders of the Regents to ensure that UC classrooms are not being misused for political purposes, including the promotion of anti-Semitism.

2) Call on the Academic Senate to outline how it will protect academic freedom from abuse by faculty who seek to use their classrooms for political purposes, including the promotion of anti-Semitism.

 

As you may be aware, global anti-Semitism has reached levels not seen since before the Holocaust. International efforts to demonize, delegitimize and ultimately dismantle the Jewish state have been driven by anti-Israel boycott campaigns, which have found their way onto American college campuses, including at the University of California.

 

In light of the decision of the UCLA Committee on Academic Freedom to grant academic legitimacy to an anti-Semitic boycott which four UC professors helped launch and almost 100 UC faculty have endorsed, the California Jewish community cannot remain silent.  Nor should you.

 

If you continue to dismiss the serious concerns raised by the signatories of this petition, the AMCHA Initiative will continue to educate Jewish communities across the state about anti-Semitism at the University of California and the unwillingness of the UC Regents and President to fulfill their legal and moral responsibilities.

 

We are sending copies of the petition and signatories to you by U.S. mail.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz

Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative

Tammi@AMCHAinitiative.org

 

Leila Beckwith

Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles

Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative

Leila@AMCHAinitiative.org

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