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PRESS RELEASE: 75 Organizations Thank Pitzer President Oliver

Pitzer President Delivers Speech Strongly Condemning Faculty Attempt to End Israel Study Abroad


Contact: Nicole Rosen

Santa Cruz, CA, November 30, 2018 – Late yesterday, Pitzer College President Oliver delivered a speech before the Pitzer College Council, in which he strongly condemned the faculty vote to suspend the school’s study abroad program in Israel, and said: “To deny Pitzer students who want to study at Haifa University the opportunity to study abroad and to enter into dialogue and promote intercultural understanding at the altar of political considerations is anathema to Pitzer’s core values" and would “foolishly alienate Jewish and non-Jewish constituents.”

As reported in the Clarement Independent, Oliver also questioned why Pitzer should cancel its study abroad programs in Israel when there are other countries with contentious issues in which Pitzer has study abroad programs. “China currently has 1 million Muslims imprisoned in re-education camps.  Why would we not suspend our program with China?” questioned Oliver.  “Or take our longest standing program in Nepal where the Pitzer in Nepal program has been run for over 40 years.  During that time they have had a bloody civil war that killed 19,000 people.  Why Israel?”

In appreciation for President Oliver’s strong condemnation, seventy-five civil rights, education, Jewish and student groups who earlier in the day had urged him to take this exact action, and to defend and protect the rights of all Pitzer students to study in and about Israel, sent him the following letter:

Dear President Oliver, 

Our organizations heartily commend you for the speech you gave before the Pitzer College Council yesterday, in which you strongly condemned the Faculty vote to suspend your school’s study abroad program at the University of Haifa, saying that it showed “little or no consideration for our educational objectives and mission.” We also deeply appreciate your standing up for the academic rights of all Pitzer students, including those who want to travel to or study about Israel. As you rightly point out, sacrificing students’ educational opportunities on “the altar of political considerations” would be “anathema to Pitzer’s core values."

Thank you again for your strong leadership on this issue, and for speaking up in defense of the welfare of all Pitzer students.


Academic Council for Israel
Accuracy in Academia
Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity (AEPi)
Alums for Campus Fairness - National
Alums for Campus Fairness - Swarthmore
Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Davis
Alums for Campus Fairness - UC Riverside
Alums for Campus Fairness - UCLA
AMCHA Initiative
American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists
American Council of Trustees and Alumni
American Institute for Jewish Research
American Truth Project
American Zionist Movement
Americans for Peace and Tolerance
Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA)
B'nai B'rith International
BEAR: Bias Education, Advocacy & Resources
Binghamton University Zionist Organization (BUZO)
Bobcats for Israel at Ohio University
Boston Israel Action Committee
Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law
California Association of Scholars
Campus Anti-Semitism Task Force of the North Shore
Center for Righteousness and Integrity
Christians and Jews United for Israel
Club Z
Coalition for Jewish Values
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA)
Dartmouth Students for Israel
Davis Faculty for Israel
Eagles Wings
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
Hasbara Fellowships
Hoos for Israel (University of Virginia)
Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel
Iranian American Jewish Federation
Iranian Jewish Women’s Organization
Israel in NYC
Israel Matters
Israel Peace Initiative (IPI)
Israeli-American Civic Action Network
Israeli-American Civic Education Institute
Jewish War Veterans of the USA
Mercaz USA
Middle East Forum
Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN)
National Council of Young Israel
Proclaiming Justice to the Nations
Rabbinical Alliance of America
Religious Zionists of America - Mizrachi
Rhode Island Coalition for Israel
Russian Jewish Community Foundation
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Slugs for Israel (University of California Santa Cruz)
Stop BDS on Campus
Students and Parents Against Campus Anti-Semitism
Students Supporting Israel at Columbia
Students Supporting Israel at San Jose State University
Students Supporting Israel at UCLA
Students Supporting Israel at University of Minnesota
Students Supporting Israel National
Swarthmore Students for Israel
The Israel Christian Nexus
The Israel Project
Tufts Friends of Israel
Young Jewish Conservatives
Zionist Organization of America
ZOA’s Fuel for Truth

AMCHA monitors more than 400 college campuses across the U.S. for anti-Semitic activity. It is the only organization that documents incidents in real time on its website for the public.  AMCHA recorded 469 known anti-Semitic incidents in 2015, 639 in 2016, 652 in 2017, and 533 so far in 2018. Its daily Anti-Semitism Tracker, organized by state and university, can be viewed here.

AMCHA Initiative is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to combating anti-Semitism at colleges and universities in the United States.

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