Contributed by CAMERA Intern Rachel Wolf:
Last week at Congregation Beth El-Atereth, the co-founder of the Amcha Initiative, Dr. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, spoke about antisemitism on college campuses. At this CAMERA sponsored event in Newton, Massachusetts, Dr. Rossman-Benjamin, a professor at University of California Santa Cruz, spoke about how she has come to Israel’s defense at a cost. Unfortunately, her campus has labeled her as a racist and bigot, based on a clip that was taken out of context. While her colleagues have demonized Israel, she has stood up for truth.
Amcha Initiative works to prevent antisemitic acts on college campuses. Their website has a plethora resources for students to use to prevent, react to or learn about college antisemitism. Amcha Initiative also published a map with several US colleges that lists the number of professors and student groups who support boycott, divestment, sanction (BDS) campaigns. Additionally, the website has a place for students to report antisemitic events on campus.
During her discussion, Rossman-Benjamin was very thorough and discussed all aspects of Amcha Initiative, antisemitism on campuses and how people (even those who are not in college) can get involved. Rossman-Benjamin was direct in her approach and discussed topics that are rarely touched by many presenters. For example, while most people will discuss verbal attacks by students, Rossman-Benjamin discussed physical and verbal attacks by students and administrators alike. Additionally, she discussed the anti-Israel bias in classrooms, something that she does not tolerate. Rossman-Benjamin’s discussion was eye-opening and informative.