web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Philly Federation: Urge Your Alma Maters to Leave Group Boycotting Israel

Philadelphia Federation head calls on academic institutions to resign from the American Studies Association and urges people to call on their alma maters to condemn the ASA boycott of Israel

Sherrie R. Savett is president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

Sherrie R. Savett is president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Photo Credit: Facebook

Share Button

The president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia sent out a statement condemning the recent boycott of Israeli academic institutions by the American Studies Association to the Federation’s boards of directors and trustees. The statement will also be sent to the general public.

In the statement, high-powered securities lawyer Sherrie R. Savett makes clear that the Philadelphia Federation finds the boycott of Israel by the ASA to constitute an effort to both delegitimize Israel and to undermine the fundamental principle of academic freedom.

Savett quotes condemnations of the boycott by the American Association of University Professors and by the Association of American Universities, and the suggestion of the executive committee of the AAU to “American scholars and scholars around the world who believe in academic freedom to oppose this and other such academic boycotts.”

Then she calls on all who will read the statement of the JFGP to do two things.

First, she suggests that “any academics or people who are closely affiliated with the leadership of a college or university, to contact them regarding institutional resignation.” Several schools have already withdrawn their membership in the ASA because of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.  Those schools include Penn State University, Brandeis University, Kenyon College and Indiana University.

Second, she asks Federation supporters and others in the region to “condemn this action and exert influence by writing to the presidents and provosts of your alma maters, calling on them to make public statements in opposition to all academic boycotts.

The Jewish Press reached Savett by phone who was still in her law office late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

“There is a concerted strategy of public relations warfare here in the U.S. to poison the minds of students and others against Israel.  We have to use our voices loudly and clearly to push back at the deep-rooted anti-Semitism that is driving these efforts to destroy and dismantle the state of Israel,” Savett said.

“The goal of the people driving these boycotts is to turn Israel into a pariah state, and then to destroy that state, and they are doing this in the guise of liberalism.

“We at the [Philadelphia] Federation call upon universities and colleges to withdraw from the ASA and to condemn it for embracing this boycott of Israeli academic institutions, a move which is antithetical to academic freedom.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia is the first Federation to take such a clear, unequivocal, action-oriented stance against the ASA boycott. Go Philly!

This is the statement that was sent out by Sherrie R. Savett, president of the JFGP, on Tuesday, Dec. 24

Good morning everyone,

 As you are well aware, last week the American Studies Association (ASA) voted to adopt an academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.  Unfortunately, this issue has gained national attention.  Coverage also spotlights several organizations that have or are considering endorsing anti-Israel resolutions. In the case of academic boycotts, these efforts both seek to delegitimize Israel and undermine the fundamental principle of academic freedom.

Together with the 40,000 member American Association of University Professors (AAUP), we believe in and support the right of scholars to freely pursue ideas without being targeted for repression, discipline, or institutional censorship. To echo the AAUP, the ASA “vote represents a setback for the cause of academic freedom.”

Further, the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an association of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada including Harvard, Stanford and Yale, condemned the move. “Any such boycott of academic institutions directly violates academic freedom, which is a fundamental principle of AAU universities and of American higher education in general,” their statement read. “Restrictions imposed on the ability of scholars of any particular country to work with their fellow academics in other countries, participate in meetings and organizations, or otherwise carry out their scholarly activities violate academic freedom. The boycott of Israeli academic institutions therefore clearly violates the academic freedom not only of Israeli scholars but also of American scholars who might be pressured to comply with it. We urge American scholars and scholars around the world who believe in academic freedom to oppose this and other such academic boycotts.”

There are currently efforts underway by academics both in and outside of ASA to call on their universities to withdraw their institutional memberships from the ASA using the message of the endangerment of academic freedom and the singling out of one country for discriminatory treatment. If you are an academic or closely affiliated with the leadership of a college or university, contact them regarding institutional resignation.

Please see the attached list of institutions that hold institutional membership in ASA. Two universities have already dropped their membership and many have publicly condemned the boycott move (they are listed in the attached document).

We ask you to join us in the effort to condemn this action and exert influence by writing to the presidents and provosts of your alma maters, calling on them to make public statements in opposition to all academic boycotts.

Thank you for your leadership.

Share Button

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

7 Responses to “Philly Federation: Urge Your Alma Maters to Leave Group Boycotting Israel”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It became "a la mode" to use liberalism to condemn Israel in every turn. For all those liberals antisemite PLEASE STOP USING JEWISH AND ISRAELIS INVENTIONS starting by your cellphones which were invested by MOTOROLA ISRAEL, I don't want to take enormous time to list all the drugs to cure you that were invented in Israel. If I am so convince I should go all the way and drop dead instead of cure myself!!!!!!!!

  2. We must all speak up against this boycott!

  3. Edward Rosen says:

    Lori Marcus is the VERY BEST (and so Is Sherrie Savett!) Standing up for Israel against bigots! Great! Ed Rosen

  4. Our lord knows his chosen tribe would one day be demonized – I assure you Christian America will stand by our Jewish brethren in Israel always – god bless you oh mighty Israel

  5. Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a "covered lawyer"? as per the author, Lori Lowenthal Marcus?

  6. There is an obvious similarity between the Jews today in America and the Jews in ancient Egypt – the two places are history… <3

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
HAS and El Al have ended their long-standing partnership.
Breaking: HAS Visa Points Now Worthless for El Al Flights
Latest News Stories

Northeastern University has provisionally reinstated the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter on campus. The SJP chapter will remain on probation through January 2015, according to a notification letter from Dr. Laura A. Wankel, the university’s vice president for student affairs. Students for Justice in Palestine was suspended from campus on March 7 for at […]

HAS and El Al have ended their long-standing partnership.

HAS and El Al are no longer flying the friendly skies together – and loyal customers are getting hurt the most.

Ellen Degeneres giving away SodaStream as an eco-friendly giveaway for Earth Day.

Ellen Degeneres gave away SodaStream products to audience members as an eco-friendly Earth Day gift.

Turkey “will strongly support the reconciliation agreement and offer all humanitarian aid” for the Hamas-Fatah unity government that was announced Wednesday,  Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Gaza’s de facto prime minister Ismail Haniyeh. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became a fan of Hamas five years ago, at the same time relations with Israel […]

Two worshippers in a synagogue on Passover saved a child from death in a burning car that exploded shortly after the rescue. The worshippers rushed to the burning vehicle after hearing the family’ scream for help, and they found the toddler strapped in a car seat. The worshippers, Moshe Kupperman and a second man, identified […]

At the press conference with the Israeli reporters, Abbas threatened to cancel the Oslo Accords, dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and force the Israeli government to pay the salaries of PA employees and the police.

A survivors’ daughter serving in the IDF brings pride and joy to a Holocaust survivor.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas must choose between peace with Israel or Hamas.

Border Police in Yitzhar’s yeshiva have plenty of time on their hands to learn a bit of Torah.

Gaza terrorists have launched another mortar attack on southern Israel, the second such attack in less than 24 hours.

The Jews for Jesus missionary group is using Holocaust imagery in a new video to lure Jews away from their faith.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States and the European Union of starting the crisis in Ukraine.

Tunisian lawmakers are questioning their tourism minister over a decision to allow Israelis to enter the country for the El Ghriba synagogue pilgrimage.

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on the European Union to ignore the upcoming Palestinian Authority unity government.

The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.

There is lobbying going on both for and against including J Street in the Conference of Presidents.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
HAS and El Al have ended their long-standing partnership.

HAS and El Al are no longer flying the friendly skies together – and loyal customers are getting hurt the most.

Ellen Degeneres giving away SodaStream as an eco-friendly giveaway for Earth Day.

Ellen Degeneres gave away SodaStream products to audience members as an eco-friendly Earth Day gift.

There is lobbying going on both for and against including J Street in the Conference of Presidents.

Carole Zabar, longtime supporter of BDS promoters, is now in a pickle – Zabar’s is a BDS target.

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

Ron Pundak was involved in many leftist “peace” initiatives. Pundak died on Friday.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/philly-federation-urge-your-alma-maters-to-leave-group-boycotting-israel/2013/12/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: