LDB Condemns Anti-Muslim Hate

Today, LDB condemned anti-Muslim hate as a reaction to reports of anti-Muslim rallies.In response to reports that extremist groups are designating October 10, 2015, as “World Anti-Mosque Day,” the Brandeis Center issued a call for tolerance, inclusion, and understanding. LDB, which was established to fight anti-Semitism on American college campus, has repeatedly denounced anti bigotry, hate,…

UC Berkeley Student explains why UC Regents should adopt Department of State’s definition of anti-Semitism

The adoption of the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism is a cause that LDB has been activity advocating for, particularly in university campuses across the nation. As LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus stated, “University administrators need a uniform definition of anti-Semitism in order to make clear what the boundaries are between hateful actions and legitimate behavior.” This need can be seen on the campuses of the University of California, where a rise in anti-Israel sentiments has also come along with a rise in anti-Semitic incidents on campus. LDB President Marcus and many of the world’s leading scholars on anti-Semitism also wrote letter to the UC Regents urging them to adopt the State Departments definition, explaining how it “offers an essential tool for identifying and educating about all forms of contemporary antisemitism.” In light of the UC Regents rejection of the Proposed Statement of Principles of Against Intolerance, as its broad language failed to deal with the issue of campus anti-Semitism, UC Berkley Student, Shauna Satnick, also recently wrote an articulate op-ed for The Daily Californian. Her article highlighted the importance of the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism as well as why the regents should consider adopting it:

Regents should adopt State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism

Shauna Satnick

I cannot speak on behalf of the entire Jewish population at UC Berkeley because it is not monolithic, so I speak from my own perspective. That being said, the UC Board of Regents’ proposed statement of principles concerning intolerance and anti-Semitism is too broad and does not effectively protect Jews from hate speech and other forms of anti-Semitism. The definition should be rewritten in order to more accurately reflect how Israel has been inequitably and systematically singled out among nations and thus warranting special consideration.

The U.S. Department of State’s definition of anti-Semitism, which characterizes the demonization and delegitimization of Israel as anti-Semitism, comes into play only when Israel is treated differently from any other country. If other countries or groups of individuals are not subject to comparable criticism and rhetoric, then under this definition of intolerance, Israel and its supporters should be protected from hostile speech and actions. Historically, Jews and Israel’s supporters have been habitually targeted — so much so that they feel the need for the University of California to include a clause specifically protecting the Jewish community. That the pervasive sense of hostility still exists in 2015 speaks volumes. It is time that our grievances be heard and addressed.

USHMM: Call for Applications

 

downloadThe United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is holding two seminars in early January, applications are due in October:

Seminar for Advanced Undergraduate, MA, and Early PhD Students
A Research Introduction to the Holocaust in the Soviet Union
January 4–8, 2016
Applications due October 11

The Mandel Center invites applications for a seminar designed to acquaint advanced undergraduate, MA, and early PhD students with the central topics, issues, and sources related to the study of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, including evacuation, mass shootings, rescue, forced labor, and issues of commemoration and memory. Mandel Center scholars will lead discussions, and the seminar will include group analysis of many of the types of primary-source material available in the Museum’s collections. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to explore the Museum’s extensive library, archival, and other collections.

Please address inquiries and applications to Elana Jakel, program manager of the Initiative for the Study of Ukrainian Jewry, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, at ejakel@ushmm.org. For further information about this program and to view the full Call for Applications, please visit ushmm.org/soviet-union-seminar.

 

2016 Jack and Anita Hess Faculty Seminar
After the Holocaust: Teaching the Postwar World
January 4–8, 2016
Applications due October 30

Most courses in Holocaust studies end with liberation in 1945, making only passing reference to the long shadow thrown by the Holocaust on the postwar world. Faculty and students are very interested in the aftermath, however, including problems of survival; political wrangling over displaced persons; integration of the experience of soldiers and evacuees into the history; issues of postwar justice and restitution; and the challenge of representation for future generations. This seminar will explore how these issues were confronted (and not confronted) in postwar Europe, the United States, and Palestine/Israel, based on the growing literature in these fields. office for rent In addition to lecture and discussion, the seminar will devote time to specific pedagogical strategies concerning these issues.

The seminar will be led by Michael Berkowitz, Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London, and Norman J. W. Goda, the Norman and Irma Braman Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida.

Applications can be sent to university_programs@ushmm.org. For complete competition guidelines and eligibility requirements please visit ushmm.org/hessseminar. Decisions will be announced in mid-November 2015.

Please direct inquiries to Leah Wolfson, senior program officer, University Programs, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, at lwolfson@ushmm.org.

 

“Deciphering the New Antisemitism” Reviews

 

9780253018656_medAlvin Rosenfeld’s latest book “Deciphering the New Antisemitism”, is due for release early next year. The book is comprised of 18 essays written by an international group of scholars, including LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus, that discuss a wide-range of topics about the increasing occurrences of anti-Semitism around the world. This analyzes the various forms of anti-Semitism across the globe, its roots, and its relationship to other bodies of society. Rosenfeld is the director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism at the University of Indiana and professor of Jewish and English studies, as well as a member of LDB’s Academic Advisory board. In 2014, he hosted a conference in which LDB President Kenneth L. cheapcarrent Marcus and numerous other scholars presented their research and ideas on the rise of contemporary anti-Semitism.

aRosenfeld

The following are reviews by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly about the forthcoming book:

“An old, noxious contagion of prejudice is on a rapid, virulent rise.
These scholarly essays, collected by Rosenfeld (English and Jewish
Studies/Indiana Univ.; The End of the Holocaust, 2011, etc.),
review the epidemiology of anti-Semitism and seek to determine
the etiology, roots, and history of this special form of bigotry.
Throughout history, many of the world’s problems have been blamed
on the Jews. As this anthology’s contributors report, renewed
Holocaust denial, naked prejudice in sectors of England, France, and
the rest of Europe, calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions,
the rise of militant jihad, and the unique standards applied only to
Israel since the start of the 21st century all attest to what has
come to be know! n as “the New anti-Semitism.” Zionism and the
establishment and achievements of the Jewish state in the Muslim
heart of the Middle East are central to the rise of hatred of all things
Jewish. Notions that were once limited to the lunatic right are now,
frequently, proud badges of the left. Certain precincts of academe
accommodate the myths and misanthropy of anti-Semitism,
supported by spurious public intellectuals. Ignorant entertainers,
as well, have their say, and the notorious forgery The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion sells quite well everywhere. International
organizations and national governments allied with Hamas and
Hezbollah threaten a minuscule spot on the planet, Israel, as
well as Jews worldwide. These various essays, fully footnoted,
consider each of these matters and others in detail in an effort to
parse and tease out the history and historiography of today’s
anti-Semitism. Some are stunningly perceptive, some explore new
dimensions, and while not all offer! lapidary prose (they are written
by academics, after all), each offers new insights about the thoughts
and activities of current anti-Semites and the evil they purvey.
A source book that will be of special value to those who see and are
concerned about the new anti-Semitism.”

-Kirkus Reviews

UC Regents Reject Weak Intolerance Statement

On September 16th UC regents decided to reject the proposed statement of principles against intolerance because it inadequately addressed the problem of anti-Semitism on UC campuses, the reason for which it was first proposed. The proposed statement has been heavily criticized as being too broad and ambiguous, simplistically defining intolerance as “unwelcome conduct motivated by…

The mighty stream and the Jewish trickle

LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus is publishing this op-ed in Washington Jewish Week discussing the increased need for a better definition of anti-Semitism, as well as further protection in the face of rising levels of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses:

_________________________________________

Israel-Apartheid-WeekThis summer, the Jewish community was rightly focused on the existential threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. This fall, as Jewish college students return to campus, our attention must return inward.

On college campuses, students routinely hear calls to dismantle the Jewish state. In some cases, these calls are interspersed with anti-Jewish epithets, like “dirty Jew” or “kike.” In others, they are combined with anti-Jewish stereotypes and defamations. Jewish students have been assaulted, battered, threatened, and harassed.

Earlier this year, the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College published a report that found that 54% of self-identified Jewish students on 55 campuses experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during 2013-2014. Things may be worsening. Recently, a Brandeis University study found that nearly three-quarters of Jewish college student respondents had been exposed during the past year to anti-Semitic statementsIf any other minority faced this level of bias, the federal government would step in. After all, President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged his commitment to equal rights. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has eloquently stated, on behalf of the Administration, “that what we will always insist on is nothing less than equal justice; comprehensive justice; justice that ‘rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.’”

When it comes to Jewish college students, however, they have not provided a mighty stream of justice. They have not given these students even a trickle.

While most Jewish college students have faced some form of anti-Semitism, federal officials have not found a single statutory violation in the last decade.

Bupkis.

So where is our mighty stream?

Call for Papers: Life in the aftermath – Displaced Persons, Displaced Children and Child Survivors on the move 

The following Call for Papers, recently received by the Louis D. Brandeis Center, may be of interest to some of our readers:

Life in the aftermath – Displaced Persons, Displaced Children and Child Survivors on the move: New approaches in education and research

30 May – 1 June 2016

Max Mannheimer Studienzentrum (MMSZ), Dachau, Germany

Joint event organised by Max Mannheimer Studienzentrum (MMSZ), Dachau, Germany

International Tracing Service (ITS), Bad Arolsen, Germany

with consultance by the Holocaust Studies Program of the Western Galilee College, Akko, Israel

For PDF version of this CFP see http://www.wgalil.ac.il/files/Conferences/2015/CfP_DPChildren_ChildSurv.pdf

In the past few years, interest in the aftermath, social and individual consequences of the Shoah, forced labour and Nazi-persecution has increased. These topics include early testimonies, the immediate Allied care for the Displaced Person (DP) population, regional micro studies and the ongoing displacement in following generations.

This academic workshop on Displaced Persons, displaced children and child survivors as specific groups after 1945 is planned as the opening event for the Exhibition on Displaced Persons, curated by ITS (Bad Arolsen) and to be shown in the MMSZ, Dachau. The aim is to bring together scholars and educators from various disciplines who are engaged in education and research on Displaced Persons and child survivors. Opening lectures, a movie lecture and round-table discussions as well as visits of e.g. the Dachau memorial site and locations of former DP camps will be included in the finalised programme.

The workshop focuses in the first part on historical education regarding DPs and in the second part on research about child survivors and DP children as specific survivors’ groups with special emphasis on organizations working with them, such as the Child Search Branch of UNRRA and the IRO.

Of course, the topic of displacement is of special importance in times when the world is facing a tragedy of millions of refugees – the highest number of people forced to move since WW II. Although the historical and the present situation are different, we believe that examining history can provide some directions and insights that can be helpful today.

Conflict Resolution, the Arab-Israel Conflict, and Campus Anti-Semitism: An Interview with Dr. Peter Weinberger of the Institute of Peace

Peter Weinberger is a senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace who has interesting ideas about how conflict analysis tools can be applied not only to the Arab-Israel conflict but also to the resurgent problem of campus anti-Semitism. Dr. Weinberger works with the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. His primary focus at the Academy is on how to best deal with ethnic, religious and tribal groups when rebuilding countries after war and conflict.

The views expressed herein are those of Dr. Weinberger and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Institute of Peace. 

What are the most important lessons that you have learned from your work in international conflict resolution?

  1. It is possible to reframe a situation, or shift people’s perspective in a way, to help find a solution that works for them.
  1. You have to listen to people, and understand what is important and meaningful for them.
  1. If you offer to help someone, you have an ethical responsibility to give them the resources and tools so that they can be successful. (You can’t just     parachute in, give people some new ideas, and leave them to their fate.)

How has your training in neuroscience informed your perspective?  

My interest in neuroscience began when I became involved with very large project related to countering violent extremism. I spent considerable time in consultation with experts, because I recognized that there was a role for neuroscience in this program. This meant really learning to understand how the brain works, and particularly how prolonged fear, stress, and trauma play out, and how that might specifically related to conflict resolution initiatives and techniques to counter violent extremism.

I began to think about supplementing conflict resolution designs with two basic things. First, a basic education about the brain and traumatic stress- which can be an eye-opener for a lot of people who are on the front lines in their communities. This helps a lot of people to understand the reactions, in terms of fear or helplessness or anger, that is often common when there is intense conflict and violence. Second, I actively incorporate some techniques, basic techniques which are validated by new findings in neuroscience, to help calm and relax participants, and which also are known to open up the parts of the brain which are responsible for empathy and self-reflection.