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How AMCHA carried out its mission of investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism in 2016.

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LOOKING BACK AT 2016: AMCHA’S ACHIEVEMENTS AND IMPACT




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Our Mission


AMCHA Initiative is dedicated to carrying out its four-fold mission in order to protect Jewish students: investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating antisemitism in colleges and universities across the country.
 

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Accomplishments in 2016


  • INVESTIGATING: AMCHA produced two breakthrough studies investigating antisemitic activity at more than 100 public and private colleges and universities with the largest Jewish undergraduate populations. Our studies provided the first-ever objective confirmation of student reports of escalating antisemitism, as well as clear evidence that the strongest predictors of anti-Jewish hostility – such as assault, harassment, destruction of property, discrimination, and suppression of speech — are the presence of BDS activity, anti-Zionist student groups, and faculty boycotters. The results of AMCHA’s studies have proven enormously useful to numerous allied organizations and government officials.
  • DOCUMENTING: In the beginning of 2016, AMCHA unveiled its Antisemitism Tracker, an online, user-friendly inventory of antisemitic incidents by state and school from 2015 to present. To our knowledge, this is the first publicly accessible database of its kind, providing a plethora of information about antisemitic incidents nationwide to a wide range of institutions and organizations, public officials, journalists and concerned members of the public, including students, prospective students and their families, alumni, university donors, and taxpayers. In 2016, the Tracker detailed over 600 incidents on 173 campuses. Additionally, during the year AMCHA documented 105 incidents of swastikas and antisemitic graffiti, 18 Jewish student events disrupted or shut down, over 200 SJP and other anti-Zionist group chapters, 23 divestment resolution votes (12 passed and 11 defeated), and 178 testimonials about campus antisemitism from Jewish students on 68 campuses.
  • EDUCATING: This year AMCHA was a major force in bringing the issue of campus antisemitism to national attention. AMCHA’s efforts were covered in more than 1,100 articles in notable publications such as Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News, CBS, San Jose Mercury News, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, Jewish Journal, Jewish Press and dozens more, and op-eds written by AMCHA’s co-founders appeared in dozens of media outlets. In addition, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin delivered ten public lectures to synagogue and community groups across the country and presented AMCHA’s research at four conferences during the year.
  • COMBATING: In 2016, AMCHA led an at-will coalition of nearly 60 religious, civil rights, education and advocacy organizations and thousands of grassroots activists in carrying out several campaigns to insure the safety and well-being of Jewish students, most notably:
    • MAJOR SUCCESS: AMCHA spearheaded an extraordinarily successful year-long campaign starting in March 2015 that resulted in the University of California Regents passing the landmark “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance” in March 2016, stating: “Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at the University of California.” The campaign included coordinating the efforts of a lobbying team, media specialist, a large coalition of organizations and grassroots activists, and involved direct outreach to UC, state and federal officials, an extremely impressive media campaign and organizing dozens of letters and petitions from UC stakeholders. As a direct result of our efforts, anti-Zionism has now been linked to anti-Semitism and other bigotries, and condemned by the most prestigious public university system in the world. This is an unprecedented and remarkable step forward, which will benefit Jewish students across the country.

    • MORE SUCCESS: Following on our success with the UC Regents Statement, AMCHA has been working with our coalition and grassroots activists and UC Stakeholders to ensure that the statement is translated into effective responses to antisemitism on all 10 UC campuses. Our efforts began in May at UC Irvine, not long after a few egregiously antisemitic incidents had occurred, when we launched a campaign urging UCI Chancellor Gillman to publicly announce a plan of action for implementing the Regents Statement. In August, Chancellor Gillman issued such a statement and in October a vice provost published a nine-page report with recommendations for implementing the Regents Statement that highlighted promising efforts to address antisemitism and antisemitic anti-Zionism at UC Irvine.

     

    How you can help


    • Educate yourself and others about the problem of campus antisemitism and get involved:
      • Visit & share our website – AMCHAinitiative.org – which contains up-to-date news and a user-friendly database of antisemitic activity on 400+ campuses.
      • Ask your family and friends to sign up to receive our bulletins.
    • Help us to continue our efforts to protect Jewish students – DONATE!
      We rely on your generosity. On behalf of Jewish students, thank you for your contribution.

      • Donate online with a single or recurring donation at AMCHAinitiative.org/donate
      • By sending a check made out to AMCHA Initiative to P.O. Box 408, Santa Cruz, CA 95061

       



       

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      The Amcha Initiative

      PO Box 408

      Santa CruzCA  95061-7041

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