Hadassah Leadership Statement in Response to Berkeley Student Groups Barring Pro-Israel Speakers and the Rise in Antisemitic and Anti-Israel Incidents on American College Campuses

Friday, September 30, 2022

Sarah Rothfleisch

NEW YORK, NY —  In response to the alarming rise in antisemitic and anti-Israel incidents on American college campuses, including the recent decision by nine student groups at the law school of the University of California at Berkeley to bar pro-Israel and pro-Zionist speakers from addressing them, Hadassah National President Rhoda Smolow and Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler issued the following statement:

“Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is appalled by the escalating number of antisemitic and anti-Israel actions on college campuses across the United States. One of the most egregious examples is the recent decision by nine student groups at the law school of the University of California at Berkeley to bar speakers who support Israel’s right to exist from addressing the groups.

These actions are not only antisemitic; they are anti-education. They violate the principles of free dialogue and learning and would stifle any real discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For example, these bylaws would prevent President Biden, as well as nearly every member of Congress, from speaking to the student groups.

Hadassah is committed to building a world where our sons and daughters can freely celebrate their Jewish identity and openly express their pride in the State of Israel. We call on Jewish and non-Jewish students alike to join us in speaking out against antisemitic actions on the campuses of America’s colleges and universities.”

About Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America:

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, donors and supporters, Hadassah brings women together to effect change on such critical issues as ensuring Israel’s security, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health care. Through its Jerusalem-based hospital system, the Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah helps support exemplary care for more than 1 million people every year as well as world-renowned medical research. Hadassah’s hospitals serve without regard to race, religion or nationality and in 2005 earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for building bridges to peace through medicine. Hadassah also supports two youth villages that set at-risk youth in Israel on the path to a successful future. Visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads and X.