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.”


Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, Associates and supporters, HWZOA brings women together to effect change and advocate on such critical issues as ensuring the security of Israel, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health. Through the two hospitals of the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Jerusalem, HWZOA helps support both exemplary care for more than one million people every year and world-renowned medical research. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 for building bridges to peace through medicine. Additionally, HWZOA supports several Youth Aliyah villages that set at-risk children in Israel on the path to a successful future. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.