a big glass building with students walking through a lawn in front
J. Paul Leonard Library at San Francisco State University. (Photo/Wikimedia-Webbi1987)

JCRC campaign aimed at ‘toxic culture’ for Jews at SFSU

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The S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council has launched a letter-writing campaign that aims to pressure San Francisco State University President Leslie Wong to publicly condemn “the harassment and marginalization of Jews on campus.”

“A toxic culture of anti-normalization is being allowed to flourish unabated,” the JCRC letter says, referring to a movement whose proponents refuse to acknowledge or “normalize” the State of Israel or Zionism.

We have initiated this letter-writing campaign to ask the administration to ensure that university employees and students understand that all Jewish students are welcome, and unequivocally denounces ideological, religious and ethnic litmus tests for belonging,” JCRC executive director Abby Porth said in an emailed statement.

The campaign was posted on the JCRC’s website this morning, and the organization sent out an email blast shortly before noon, according to spokesman Jeremy Russell. Among other objectives, Russell said the organization hopes to broaden its coalition demanding that SFSU take action. “We’re hoping to pull in more allies to this very important issue beyond just the Jewish community,” he said.

“We want [President Wong] to make a statement against the culture of anti-normalization, which has become so prevalent at SFSU,” Russell added. “We would like them to set and enforce rules for civility.”

The JCRC letter-writing campaign comes a day after J. published a story detailing the extent to which anti-normalization — largely promoted by the General Union of Palestine Students — has impacted Jewish community life at SFSU.

“This is only just starting,” Russell said. “Now it’s become a very public campaign for communication with the administration at SFSU. Now, as of today, all this stuff is very public.”

max cherney
Max A. Cherney

Max A. Cherney is a former J. staff writer.