The Forward 50

Ken Marcus

Activism

Ken Marcus

The Forward 50

With the Israel debate roiling college campuses around America, there has been no shortage of hand-wringing from the organized Jewish community about the welfare of Jewish students. Ken Marcus has taken a different approach.

A former staff director at the U.S. Department of Education, Marcus, 46, has emerged as a vocal proponent of using federal civil rights law to combat campus anti-Semitism in the context of the Israel debate.

In 2011, he created the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, a research organization based in Washington, D.C., to “advance the civil and human rights of the Jewish people and promote justice for all.” The Center is a clearinghouse for information about Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. In 2010, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights effectively extended the law to protect Jews.

In his previous role at the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, Marcus filed a high-profile Title VI complaint against Barnard College in 2011, alleging that a faculty member had “steered” a student away from taking a class from professor known for his sharp criticisms of Israel. The case was tossed out by the Office for Civil Rights.

It remains to be seen whether Title VI will prove to be an effective tool for countering campus anti-Semitism with regard to the Israel debate. But if Marcus has any say in it, we may witness a new era of Jewish advocacy.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.