Starting this past week, pro-Israel nonprofit StandWithUs began its second national letter campaign last week, writing to roughly 3,000 universities across the United States about major issues Jewish students face on campus.
Signed by StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein, StandWithUs Legal Department director Yael Lerman and Center for Combating Antisemitism director Carly Gammill, the letter stated, “If your administration and [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] offices prioritize social-justice issues, then combating anti-Semitism on campus should be a major focus.”
The letter highlighted five top issues of concern for Jewish students, which included faculty members denying Jewish students educational opportunities by refusing to provide recommendations for study-abroad programs in Israel in line with the BDS movement’s calls for an academic boycott of Israel.
Secondly, the letter also highlighted the denial of educational opportunities through faculty members refusing to “make recommendations on hiring, promotion and grant-making decisions” when it concerned Jewish or Zionist students.
Two other issues the letter addressed were faculty members introducing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel biases in the classroom and creating biased curricula to that end.
“Faculty members who use classroom time to espouse biases against Israel and Jews often do so outside the scope of the subject matter at hand,” the letter said. “This is in violation of professional standards and marginalizes Jewish students based on the Zionist component of their Jewish identity.”
Lastly, the letter also stressed the issue of university “social-media accounts, listservs, and school logos or brands” being used to promote one-sided perspectives on political issues, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying when college departments engage in such use of school resources, “they likely act outside the scope of their departmental purview, professional standards of conduct and the bounds of academic freedom.”