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JUF Link
Tuesday, June 20, 2017  

In this Issue:

• News, Views and Analysis

• Israel Studies Project counters anti-normalization, academic boycotts

• A Q&A with UChicago's Israel Fellow

• Zoloth appointed dean of UChicago's Divinity School


JUF Link presents news and analysis concerning the delegitimization and demonization of Israel and the Jewish people through BDS, anti-normalization and related activities.

Exposing the linkages between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, JUF Link 
shows the impact of the work of JUF/Federation and its partners in defeating anti-Israel and anti-Jewish forces.


JUF's Israel Education Center has launched the Lexicon, an encyclopedia of Israel-related terminology commonly used on campus and in the community. 
Check it out here.


News, Views and Analysis

In a groundbreaking and potentially precendent-setting move, a group of San Francisco State University students and community members have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that SFSU has an extensive history of cultivating anti-Semitism and discriminating against Jewish students

In a landmark vote, the members of the Modern Language Association – the largest academic association in the humanities – ratified a resolution this week affirmatively rejecting the academic boycott of Israel

The Pitzer College board of trustees overturned a pro-BDS student senate amendment prohibiting the use of Student Activities Funds towards "any corporation or organization associated with" Israel, including companies such as Sabra and Ahava. In a college-wide email, the board said the amendment "applies a particular point of view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in restricting the use of Student Activities Funds by all Student Senate-approved groups" and "inappropriately curtails the funds' usage rights of all groups, including those that may have a different perspective."

Switzerland became the first European country to pass legislation to end funding for anti-Semitic NGOs last week when the parliament voted in favor of the bill

Schmaltz, a popular Jewish deli in Naperville, was vandalized with anti-Israel graffiti on Sunday. "When an American Jewish business is targeted for the actions of another is not productive, it is anti-Semitism," restaurant owner Howard Bender wrote on Facebook

Both houses of the Kansas State Legislature have passed a bill barring the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. The bill is currently awaiting Governor Sam Brownback's signature

As an undergrad studying social work at Ryerson University, Rebecca Katzman requested to complete her third-year work placement at two Toronto Jewish organizations, including a local JCC. However, a university adviser did not allow Katzman to be placed at either organization, claiming their values were in "opposition" to the values of the School of Social Work and that both organizations had a "strong anti-Palestinian lean." In response, Ryerson has since published an open letter repudiating anti-Semtiism, apologizing for the incident and re-affirming that the JCC and UJA are "appropriate agencies" for student placements

Tunisia joined Lebanon in banning Wonder Woman from theatres because of Gal Gadot's Israeli identity. Jordan is currently considering a similar ban

16 American political operatives traveled to Israel on a trip that "helped them dial down the bitter partisanship of current-day Washington." A delegation of Football Hall of Famers are also seeing Israel first-hand on a different trip.

Ariela Rivkin, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received the American Jewish Committee's Campus Courage Award at the 2017 AJC Global Forum. As a member of student government, Rivkin was intimidated and harassed throughout Madison's recent divestment campaign because of her Jewish identity

Two seniors from Winnetka's New Trier High School traveled to Israel and interviewed Benjamin Netanyahu about Jerusalem, Israel advocacy and leadership 

Transgender Zionist activist to Jewish Voice for Peace: you will not stop LGBTQ supporters of Israel

Israel Studies Project counters anti-normalization, academic boycotts

As calls to boycott Israeli academics have become louder and louder, bridging the gap between Israeli and American academia and forging connections is more important than ever.

Since its inception in 2005, JUF's Israel Studies Project has brought respected academics from Israel to Illinois. Their expertise spans various disciplines, including literature, film, medicine, environmental science, politics and international relations. 

JUF supports post-doctoral fellows and visiting academics at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois campuses in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign. In addition to teaching classes, visiting professors frequently host public lectures on campus and in their communities. The Israel Studies Project is coordinated by JUF's Israel Education Center and overseen by Richard Herman, a senior counselor at JUF and Former Chancellor of UIUC. 

Aviad Rubin, a political science professor from the University of Haifa, is returning to Israel after spending the 2016-2017 academic year at the University of Chicago teaching two courses: "Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives of Religion and State in Israel and the Middle East" and "Contemporary Trends in Israeli and Turkish Politics." Rubin also hosted lectures on Israeli elections, Middle East dynamics and the Israeli political system at UIUC and UChicago.

Read more about the Israel Studies Project in the July edition of JUF News.

A Q&A with UChicago's Israel Fellow

Through a partnership between The Jewish Agency for Israel and Hillel International, 65 Israelis are placed on more than 100 North American campuses as Jewish Agency Israel Fellows each year. Fellows serve as the face for Israel on campus and help students connect to Israel and Israelis in unique, authentic ways - by planning Israel-related events, by leading Birthright trips and by developing one-on-one friendships with students. 

JUF and the Israel Education Center support 4 Israel Fellows at Metro Chicago Hillel, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago. 

Adi Cohen is returning to Israel after spending the 2016-2017 academic year as the Israel Fellow at the University of Chicago. JUF Link sat down with Adi to learn more about her expectations, her experiences and what she'll miss most about Chicago. 

Photo: Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Adi Cohen poses with IEC interns Zachary Spitz (left) and Rachel Zucker (right) during a Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebration. (Photo courtesy of Adi Cohen)

Read the full Q&A here »

Zoloth appointed dean of UChicago's Divinity School

Professor Laurie Zoloth—a noted scholar in bioethics and Jewish studies at Northwestern University—has been appointed dean of the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Professor Elie Rekhess, associate director of Northwestern's Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies, points to Zoloth “as a valued representative of the Jewish voice at Northwestern. Her ardent engagement in Jewish academic and on-campus life has undoubtedly left a strong imprint on faculty and students alike.”   

Zoloth has previously served on JUF's Israel Education Center's Academic Advisory Board. Read more about Zoloth's new role in July's JUF News

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