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PRESS RELEASE

AMCHA Initiative Applauds USC Advisory Committee on Jewish Life for Recommendation to Protect ALL Students from Harassment, Including Zionist Students Previously Left Out of Policy

Contact: Nicole Rosen
communications@AMCHAinitiative.org

Santa Cruz, CA, August 24, 2022 – AMCHA Initiative Director, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, today issued the following statement in response to the release of recommendations compiled by the Advisory Committee on Jewish Life at University of Southern California (USC):

“AMCHA Initiative welcomes the recently published recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Jewish Life at USC and President Carol L. Folt's commitment to implement these thoughtful recommendations. Back in February of 2022, nearly 1,500 individuals, including hundreds of USC stakeholders, called on USC to expand its harassment policies to protect all students, and not just some, in an AMCHA-coordinated campaign that highlighted how Zionist students were not guaranteed adequate protection under USC’s harassment policy, which applies to only certain protected-class identities.

"We are thrilled at the inclusion of the Advisory Committee’s recommendation to highlight and publicize the university protections 'that all students (including Zionist students) have to be free from bullying, harassment, and intimidation, regardless of whether that implicates a protected-class identity.'

"We are also pleased with the the Committee’s recommendations to '[a]cknowledge explicitly that anti-Zionism can sometimes be experienced as antisemitism in responding to issues and incidents' as well as to '[p]ublicly reiterate the university’s opposition to academic boycotts like the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign (BDS).'

"These are all important recommendations that, if faithfully implemented, will improve the campus climate for Jewish students and ensure that all USC students, regardless of identity, will be equally protected from behavior that threatens their safety or limits their ability to fully participate in campus life.

"We look forward to the implementation of these recommendations and applaud the Committee Members and President Folt for their time and dedication to combating campus antisemitism."

AMCHA monitors more than 450 college campuses across the U.S. for antisemitic activity. The organization has recorded more than 5,000 antisemitic incidents on college campuses since 2015. Its daily Antisemitism Tracker, organized by state and university, can be viewed here.

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