JFFS Statement - March 25, 2016


Rose Project of JFFS and Hillel OC

UC Regents Adopt Policy Against Intolerance

This has been a momentous week for the many people throughout the state concerned with anti-Israel activity on college campuses.  Yesterday, the UC Board of Regents approved Principles of Intolerance, an important step forward in its effort to better understand and combat anti-Semitism on University of California campuses.  
The report recognizes and analyzes disturbing evidence of anti-Israel actions and rhetoric that have embodied or been shaped by anti-Semitic claims, and those that have fueled the hateful flames of anti-Semitism. These incidents — including speakers or propaganda that invoke anti-Jewish stereotypes or conspiracy theories raise contemporary versions of the age-old blood libel, or sickeningly attempt to evoke convoluted comparisons to Nazism, and are profoundly offensive and intended to wound. In response, the Regents have therefore stated firmly and unequivocally that anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.
At the same time, the report reaffirms the importance of academic freedom and freedom of speech, and cuts through some, but not all, of the fog surrounding the University’s duty to speak out against intolerance.
Questions remain about how this policy will be implemented, including how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and hateful demonization of Jews. And it is uncertain as to how academicians will be held to responsible standards of empiricism and research. Nonetheless, we congratulate and support the UC Regents in their efforts.
Additionally, we are pleased to share that the climate for Israel at UC Irvine has dramatically improved in recent years and that Jewish life continues to thrive.  
  • UC Irvine enjoys academic collaboration with Israeli universities in numerous fields, including engineering, the humanities and the arts.  More than a dozen memoranda of understanding have been signed between UCI and its Israeli partners.
  • Israeli scholars and artists teach diverse groups of students on the UCI campus every year.
  • Jewish programs — including Jewish and Israel education, Shabbat and holiday celebrations, social events, and community service projects — take place on campus every week.
  • Jewish students travel to Israel under the auspices of the Rose Project and Hillel each year, participating in Birthright Israel, interfaith fact-finding missions, and a variety of internships.
  • A strong cadre of UCI students returned this week from the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC. Those students and others participate in an organized rubric of educational and leadership development activities put in place by the Rose Project in partnership with organizations throughout the country and in Israel.  
  • We continue to foster dialogue within the Jewish and broader community, and to promote efforts to create greater understanding of Israel on UCI’s campus.
We thank the community for their continued support of our students at UCI and on campuses throughout Orange County.
Best wishes for a Shabbat shalom.

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Jewish Federation & Family Services, Samueli Jewish Campus, 1 Federation Way, Suites 210 & 220, Irvine, CA 92603




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