Pitzer President Condemns Faculty Motion to Suspend Israel Study Abroad

On November 29th, Pitzer College President Melvin Oliver condemned the resolution passed by the school’s faculty to suspend the college’s study abroad program at the University of Haifa in a speech before the Pitzer College Council. The faculty’s resolution garnered severe backlash from students and outside organizations alike. The Brandeis Center joined a letter, organized by the AMCHA Initiative and signed by 75 civil rights, education, and student organizations expressing dismay over the Pitzer Faculty’s vote.

69 Orgs Urge Dep’t of Ed to Ensure NRCs Do Not Implement Academic Boycotts

In a letter organized by the AMCHA Initiative, 69 organizations, including the Brandeis Center, urged the Department of Education to ensure that National Resource Center (NRC) faculty do not implement academic boycotts at universities. The letter, addressed to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, gave two examples of recent events held at the University of Michigan and New York University, both of which were organized and funded by Department of Education-designated Middle East Studies NRCs.

Pitzer Faculty Senate Votes to End Israel Study Abroad Programs

On November 8th, the Pitzer College faculty voted to suspend the school’s study abroad program at the University of Haifa in Israel. The faculty’s resolution called for the “suspension of the College’s exchange with Haifa University, until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry to Israel based on ancestry and/or political speech and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities.” This resolution has received significant backlash from students and community members.

Kentucky Governor Signs Anti-BDS Executive Order

On November 15th, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed an anti-BDS executive order into law, making the State of Kentucky the 26th state to enact a law against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.The executive order denounces the BDS movement for being discriminatory, highlights Kentucky’s strong trade relationship with Israel, and points out the fact that governors from all 50 states (and the mayor of DC) have signed a statement against the BDS movement.

UCLA Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to NSJP

On October 31, UCLA’s Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck sent a cease-and-desist letter to National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) over the logo used in their promotional material. NSJP had created a logo for their upcoming annual conference that featured the UCLA Bruin Bear playing with a Palestinian kite. That same day, the Jewish Journal had publicized the fact that NSJP was using the logo.  

LDB Applauds University of Michigan for Addressing Professor’s Discriminatory Conduct

On September 21st, the Brandeis Center’s President Alyza Lewin and Director of Legal Initiatives Aviva Vogelstein, sent a letter to University of Michigan’s President Dr. Mark D. Schlissel, urging his administration to take further action following a discriminatory incident by a professor. Professor John Cheney-Lippold refused to provide a letter of recommendation to a University of Michigan student upon realizing that she intended to study abroad in Israel.