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Letter from UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing to AMCHA Co-founders

From: Marsha Kelman <>
August 21, 2012 8:59:51 AM PDT
To:” <>, “” <>
President <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, Henry Yang <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, “” <>, Charles Robinson <>, “Jesse M. Bernal” <>
RE: Letter from the Jewish Community to UC Regents and President

Dear Professor Beckwith and Ms. Rossman-Benjamin,

On behalf of Chairman Lansing, I want to acknowledge your email of August 14 which included a petition signed by members and supporters of the California Jewish community. Please be clear that the Regents do not sanction anti-Semitism at the University of California. We continue to work to be sure that the UC campuses are safe and welcoming for everyone.

President Yudof, Regent Gould, and Regent Lansing issued the attached statement in May 2010 declaring that they would not bring a recommendation before the Board to divest from companies doing business with the State of Israel.  This continues to be the Board’s position and they feel as strongly about that now as they did then. The Regents will only consider divestment from a foreign government or companies doing business with a foreign government only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide.

The Regents are in agreement with President Yudof that the Senate, and UCLA administration, are handling this matter as stated acording to the University policy and the principles of academic freedom. I will reference your letter in the monthly communications summary sent to the Regents.

Marsha Kelman
Secretary & Chief of Staff to the Regents


From: Tammi Benjamin []
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:16 AM
To:; President
Cc: Leila Beckwith;;; Robert Anderson; Robert Powell; Charles Robinson; Marsha Kelman; Jesse M. Bernal;;;
Subject: Letter from the Jewish Community to UC Regents and President

Dear UC Regents and President Yudof:

Please find attached a petition (Attachment 1) signed by over 1,000 members and supporters of the California Jewish community — including hundreds of UC students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and donors — who are appalled by the recent decision of the UCLA Academic Senate Committee on Academic Freedom to allow a professor to promote on his class website a boycott of Israel deemed anti-Semitic by the U.S. Department of State.  (Please see Attachment 2 for a full list of signatories). These members and supporters of the Jewish community urge you to take the following reasonable steps to help restore their confidence in the University:

1) Publicly acknowledge your responsibility under the California Constitution and the Standing Orders of the Regents to ensure that UC classrooms are not being misused for political purposes, including the promotion of anti-Semitism.

2) Call on the Academic Senate to outline how it will protect academic freedom from abuse by faculty who seek to use their classrooms for political purposes, including the promotion of anti-Semitism.

As you may be aware, global anti-Semitism has reached levels not seen since before the Holocaust. International efforts to demonize, delegitimize and ultimately dismantle the Jewish state have been driven by anti-Israel boycott campaigns, which have found their way onto American college campuses, including at the University of California.

In light of the decision of the UCLA Committee on Academic Freedom to grant academic legitimacy to an anti-Semitic boycott which four UC professors helped launch and almost 100 UC faculty have endorsed, the California Jewish community cannot remain silent.  Nor should you.

If you continue to dismiss the serious concerns raised by the signatories of this petition, the AMCHA Initiative will continue to educate Jewish communities across the state about anti-Semitism at the University of California and the unwillingness of the UC Regents and President to fulfill their legal and moral responsibilities.

We are sending copies of the petition and signatories to you by U.S. mail.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Tammi Rossman-Benjamin
Lecturer, University of California at Santa Cruz
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative


Leila Beckwith
Professor Emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles
Co-founder the AMCHA Initiative


UC Chancellors
UC Provost Dorr
UC Academic Senate Chair Anderson
UC Academic Senate Vice Chair Powell
UC General Counsel Robinson
UC Secretary and Chief of Staff Kelman
UC Interim Diversity Coordinator Bernal
California Governor Jerry Brown
California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
California Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
California Senator Fran Pavley (UCLA)
California Senator Ted W. Lieu (UCLA)
California Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. (UCLA)
California Assembly Member Holly J. Mitchell (UCLA)
California Assembly Member Mike Feuer (UCLA)
United States Congressman Howard Berman
United States Congressman Brad Sherman

Members and supporters of the Jewish community

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