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500 California Alumni Blast Campus Anti-Semitism

More than 500 alumni of the University of California called on the system’s president and Board of Regents to address the “rising tide of anti-Jewish bigotry at the UC.”

The alumni wrote in the open letter published Wednesday in the Daily Bruin, the student newspaper of the University of California, Los Angeles, that they are “deeply concerned about the safety of Jewish students at our alma mater.”

The 521 signers said they “heartily commend” the student senates of three U.C. schools — Berkeley, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara — for “responding to the alarming escalation of anti-Semitic activity on UC campuses by unanimously passing resolutions which condemn anti-Semitism.” They also praised the U.C.’s president, Janet Napolitano, for her own statement condemning anti-Semitism.

The alumni called on Napolitano and the Board of Regents to formally adopt the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism in order to properly identify anti-Semitic expression on campus; to train campus staff to identify and address campus anti-Semitism; and to develop initiatives to educate the campus community about anti-Semitism.

The letter echoed a similar open letter released on Tuesday by a coalition of 23 student and community organizations.

Recent incidents on U.C. campuses include swastikas drawn on a Jewish fraternity house at Davis and the inappropriate questioning of a candidate for student judiciary board about her Jewishness and Jewish affiliations at UCLA.

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