BREAKING: Hillel International praises University of California for protecting Jewish students with new anti-Semitism policy



March 24, 2016

Hillel International, the largest Jewish student organization in the world, expresses its gratitude to the University of California Board of Regents for approving a new policy Thursday expressly stating that “anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.”

“The University of California Regents have taken an important step in ensuring the safety of Jewish students on all California campuses,” said Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International. “There are lines that cannot be crossed on American campuses, and anti-Semitism should be one of them.”

“There is an undeniable link in the UC between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionist activities,” said Rabbi Aaron Lerner, executive director of Hillel at UCLA. “I want to thank the UC Regents for their year-long effort to better understand, and combat, anti-Semitism in the UC. They spent an enormous amount of time listening to a wide variety of constituents, including Hillel’s staff and students.”

“West Coast schools have been at the forefront of hostile, undemocratic forms of activism for years. Free speech and free expression are absolutes on college campuses, but the Principles Against Intolerance condemn conduct that inhibits the free exchange of ideas and has negatively affected Jewish life on campus,” said Ollie Benn, executive director of San Francisco Hillel.

Hillel International joined several other major Jewish organizations in calling on the Regents to approve the measure. “Bigotry of any kind has no place at elite institutions of higher learning like the University of California. But such intolerance exists, and pretending otherwise will not make the problem go away,” wrote the groups in a joint statement.

Fingerhut also authored an op-ed in the Times of Israel, calling on the Regents to endorse and support this report.