Contact: Nicole Rosen


Santa Cruz, CA, June 23, 2015 Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative co-founder and director, issued the following statement in response to today’s passage of SCR-35 by the California Assembly’s Higher Education Committee:  

“Anti-Semitism on California campuses is escalating at an alarming rate.  We commend education leaders in the Assembly for taking an important step toward addressing the rising threat faced by Jewish students.  We applaud Senator Stone and all cosponsors for their leadership and commitment to fighting discrimination and bigotry and protecting all students. 

“Now UC must follow the leadership of our legislature and many UC student governments and recognize the variety of antisemitic expression that Jewish students experience on campus.  The first step is to properly define contemporary Jew hatred by recognizing the difference between scholarly criticism of Israel, which is 100% acceptable, and the hateful antisemitic rhetoric and demonstrations that threaten the safety of our campuses.  

“The U.S. State Department definition does just that.  It recognizes that language or behavior that compares Israelis to Nazis and denies Israel’s right to exist as antisemitic. Such a definition is essential for adequately understanding and identifying antisemitism as experienced by students today.  Jewish students must be afforded the same protections as all other students at the University of California.”


SCR-35 uses the U.S. State Department definition to define antisemitism and calls on each University of California campus to adopt a resolution condemning all forms of antisemitism. The California Senate unanimously passed SCR-35 last month.

This past semester, student governments at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara unanimously approved resolutions that strongly condemn antisemitism. Each resolution invokes the U.S. State Department’s definition.

AMCHA Initiative is one of 32 groups that called on the University of California to adopt the U.S. State Department definition as the standard for identifying antisemitism.. AMCHA also delivered petitions signed by nearly 700 UC professors, UC alumni and California rabbis to the UC Regents recently, urging them to adopt the U.S. State Department definition.

AMCHA Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in California, dedicated to combating antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America.