This letter from IECA CEO Mark Sklarow and Board President Belinda Wilkerson has been sent to Dr. Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education; James Kvaal, Under Secretary of Education; Hon. Bernie Sanders, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Hon. Virginia Foxx, Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

We are alarmed by and condemn the unprecedented rise in antisemitism on college and university campuses. Jewish students and faculty are feeling fearful, hurt, and threatened. Jewish students have been prevented from entering buildings on campus, refused access to classrooms, and verbally and sometimes physically attacked by angry mobs made up of students and those unaffiliated with the colleges. No student should be singled out and subjected to physical or verbal violence based on religion.

More must be done so Jewish students feel physically and emotionally safe while assuring academic freedom and freedom of speech at colleges. If colleges are unable to guarantee the safety and equal access to campus for Jewish students, federal agencies must be prepared to act.

We remain hopeful that colleges and universities can come through this fraught time with unity and a renewed commitment to their missions and community standards, where all students and faculty can live, learn, and work together with respect, inclusivity, and tolerance.

8 comments

  1. Though I abhor violence of any sort, and bullies as well. I believe your letter is not inclusive enough. What about the majority of the protestors? Don’t they need protection? Are they to be silenced by anti- mobs (UCLA), police, doxing etc. I realize the majority of my profession holds different views than mine, but I am surprised that my organization has taken such a stand when they normally dissuade us from becoming overtly political. And yes this has become very political. To even question certain policies of the state of Israel is considered an offense.
    I thought we were for all students and hope you are not under some sort of political pressure. I have read the posts on our talk-lists and am happy lists are being generated where Jewish students might feel more welcomed. However, I see no need for this letter to Congress. Already higher education is being influenced by too many outside forces.
    Though I was not in the US after September 11, I would venture no one rose to support the Islamaphobia that still exists in this country.
    I am sorry you felt you had to write this and wish you had at least paid service to the freedom of speech at risk. I have never supported a cancel culture. It is time we focused more on educating all our students about civil discourse and the time honored tradition of protest.

  2. Thank you for writing this blog post. It was well overdue. I hope it has an impact on a federal level and protections are in place for Jewish students and faculty.

  3. Excellent statement, crafted thoughtfully and hits all the right notes. Hats off to Belinda and Mark. IECA is standing up for decency and security – for all – on our college campuses.
    Here’s hoping the recipients take heed.

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