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Jewish Identity and Civil Rights

April 2010 Contents

Jewish Identity and Civil Rights

Are Jews an ethnic or religious group?

OCR promises to review anti-Semitism policy

April Articles of Interest

Jewish Identity and Civil Rights

Kenneth L. Marcus
Ken Marcus, Director
Anti-Semitism Initiative

Last month, as we reported in the Quad, the Institute for Jewish & Community Research joined a dozen major Jewish organizations in urging the Obama administration to bring Jewish students back within the coverage of federal civil rights law. This should be a natural move for the Obama administration, which has repeatedly pledged to step up the pace of civil rights enforcement. Yet the administration's position remains very much in doubt. This month, Assistant Secretary RusslynnAli confessed - in what we hope is not an admission of guilt - that "I lose sleep over this one." Meanwhile, this issue may have united the organized Jewish community behind a movement for change, but it has also generated a diverse range of reactions from Jewish academics.

Read the full column

The Quad is a monthly publication of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR). It includes updates on research and publications; alerts about items in the news; original commentary by scholars; and news about our partners.

The Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR) is an independent non-profit dedicated to the growth and security of the Jewish community.

Website: JewishResearch.org
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Are Jews an ethnic or a religious group?

This perennial question is now at the heart of a Jewish communal effort to get the U.S. Department of Education more deeply involved in probing allegations of antisemitism on college campuses.

Read Jewish Groups Ask Feds To Change Policy and Include Anti-Semitism by Josh Nathan-Kazis, The Forward, April 14, 2010

OCR promises to review anti-Semitism policy

The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has been revamping its operations to enforce laws against discrimination more consistently and is in the process of reviewing the approach to its guidance to colleges on race-conscious admission policies and gender equity in athletics, the office's chief, Russlynn H. Ali, told The Chronicle. The question is, will it also protect Jewish students in a consistent manner?

Read Stepping Up the Pace at the Office for Civil Rights by Libby Sander and Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 15, 2010

April Articles of Interest

Higher Education

U. of Calif addresses campus hate, but some draw the line on Oren case
By Sue Fishkoff, JTA, Mar. 25, 2010
The U.C. Regents addressed the recent spate of hate violence and racist vandalism at its campuses by announcing a series of measures designed to monitor and prevent hate violence in the university system, among them the heckling of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine.

Selection of Israeli envoy sparks debate at Brandeis
By Avi Bildner, JTA, April 27, 2010
Brandeis University has sparked a controversy in the university community with its selection of Israel's ambassador as its commencement speaker. Some are comparing the choice to that of Tony Kushner in 2006.


K-12


Texas' Clout Over Textbooks Could Shift With Market
By Erik W. Robelen, Education Week,
April 28, 2010
The extent of the national impact of Texas' curriculum revision is a matter of debate. Some say digital versions will reduce its clout and publishers claim they customize for local needs but others dispute those claims.


World


Israel deputy ambassador 'shocked' by violent protest
By Marcus Dysch, The Jewish Chronicle Online, April 29, 2010
Israel's deputy ambassador to Britain, Talya Lador Fresher, was forced to seek refuge in a security office after protesters attempted to attack her following a Manchester university lecture.

Machete used in anti-Semitic attack in Gatineau, Carelton students say
By David Rogers, Ottawa Citizen, April 6, 2010
One Jewish and one non-Jewish student were attacked by 10 men yelling they were Zionists and Jews in English and Arabic.