Santa Cruz, CA, July 14, 2015 – Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and director, issued the following statement in response to the unanimous passage of SCR-35 by the California State Assembly late yesterday:
“We commend the California Assembly and Senate for recognizing the alarming and frightening rise of antisemitism on campus and using the State Department definition to properly identify and address it. We especially applaud Senator Stone who has demonstrated tireless leadership and commitment to protecting Jewish students and all students at UC.
“As the legislators and those of us who monitor it regularly know well, modern day antisemitism has morphed beyond swastikas and what most recognize as traditional anti-Jewish discrimination. A critical step to fixing this on campus is for students and faculty to accurately comprehend contemporary antisemitism. We need a school-wide standard, a universal tool, for understanding antisemitism and preventing it. We look forward to working with the University of California to formally adopt the State Department definition of antisemitism across all 10 campuses. It captures a complete and accurate understanding of how contemporary Jew-hatred manifests itself today and is the key to preventing it in the future.”
SCR-35 uses the U.S. State Department definition to define antisemitism and calls on educators to do more to protect Jewish students in California. The California Senate unanimously passed SCR-35 in May. The measure will now head back to the state Senate for a concurrence vote.
This past semester, student governments at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara also unanimously approved resolutions that condemn antisemitism, using the State Department definition.
AMCHA Initiative leads a coalition of 32 groups that has been working with the University of California to adopt the U.S. State Department definition. AMCHA also delivered petitions signed by nearly 700 UC professors, UC alumni and California rabbis to President Napolitano and the UC Regents urging adoption of the U.S. State Department definition.
AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in California, dedicated to combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.
Contact: Nicole Rosen