Addendum to Letter Sent to UC Campus Climate Committee Regarding Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

From: Tammi Rossman-Benjamin <tammi@amchainitiative.org>
Date:
August 23, 2012 9:08:15 AM PDT
To:
Jesse.Bernal@ucop.edu, president@ucop.edu, rick.barton@procopio.comalicehuffman@sbcglobal.net
Cc:
Leila@AMCHAinitiative.org, chancellor@conet.ucla.educhancellor@berkeley.edu, chancellor@uci.edu, chancellor@ucmerced.educhancellor@ucr.edu, chancellor@ucsd.edu, henry.yang@chancellor.ucsb.educhancellor@ucsc.edu, chancellor@ucdavis.edu, sue.hellmann@ucsf.eduregentsoffice@ucop.edu, ttorlakson@cde.ca.gov
Subject:
addendum regarding JVP

 

Dear Members of the UC Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion:

We thought it important to share with you some new information we have received about Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the organization behind the effort to discredit your committee’s Jewish Student Campus Climate report.

In addition to the JVP’s endorsement of numerous campaigns to harm the Jewish state, which we documented in our previous letter, last week (Aug. 12 – 16) the JVP ran a retreat in upstate New York entitled “We Divest Campaign Student Leadership Team Summer Training Institute.”  The “training institute” was open to “all campus activists currently running or hoping to launch a We Divest Campaign targeting TIAA-CREF on campus.”  (TIAA-CREF is one of the largest pension funds in the U.S., and in 2009 the JVP initiated a campaign to pressure that company into divesting itself of its holdings in companies that do business with Israel). The JVP retreat included extensive coaching and training in how to execute an anti-Israel boycott/divestment campaign.

As you may know, the JVP-endorsed divestment campaigns launched at UC Berkeley (in 2010) and UC San Diego (in 2010, 2011, and 2012) were accompanied by numerous anti-Semitic incidents, events and exhibits, and contributed significantly to a hostile environment for Jewish students on both of those campuses.  Indeed, almost 90% of the 52 Jewish students that we surveyed at UCB and UCSD in May 2010 described feeling harassed or intimidated as a result of the divestment from Israel campaigns that had been waged at those universities earlier in the year. And in February 2012, several Jewish students at UCSD who attended a student senate meeting described the hostility they were experiencing as a result of the anti-Israel divestment campaign on their campus.

The JVP’s newest divestment effort, designed to bring an even more virulent and hateful campaign to harm the Jewish state onto college campuses across the country, is further evidence of the JVP’s vicious political agenda and cannot help but have a negative impact on many Jewish students at the University of California.

Thank you for considering this information.

Sincerely,

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

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

 

Cc:
UC Chancellors
UC Regents
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson

Bcc:
Members and supporters of the Jewish community