Dear SDSU Community,

We are pleased to announce San Diego State University’s enhanced partnership with two local organizations, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Hillel, that share our goal of creating a more inclusive community for Jewish students, faculty and staff.

The ADL is a national leader in combating bias and hate against marginalized communities. The organization’s teams work diligently to track extremism, confront discrimination, and promote respectful schools and communities. Hillel works with more than 500 colleges and universities across the world to encourage young adults to celebrate Jewish learning and living and pursue social justice. Beginning in the fall 2021, these two organizations will work closely with SDSU to offer critical interventions to address antisemitism and support Jewish inclusion on our campus and beyond.

The ADL will work closely with our Center for Inclusive Excellence to develop an innovative professional learning community for faculty and staff on recognizing and responding to antisemitism, bias and hate in the classroom and in co-curricular spaces. Hillel will offer a brand new ally seminar designed to help members of the campus community better support the success of Jewish students. Part of our ongoing efforts to embed diversity and inclusion in everything that we do includes condemning antisemitism and working in solidarity with our Jewish community.

Why This is Timely and Important for Our Community

Over the past several years, the Jewish community has been the target of violent attacks, including those in Pittsburgh, Jersey City, and here in San Diego County at Chabad of Poway. In January, we witnessed antisemitic and white supremacist ideology invoked at the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish community experienced the highest level of antisemitic incidents in 2019 since tracking began in the late 1970s. Since January 2020, the ADL recorded 35 antisemitism incidents in San Diego. We know, however, that hate crimes are the most underreported of all crimes.

Next Steps and What to Expect

In addition to our enhanced partnerships with ADL and Hillel, several additional new initiatives are launching this year to combat antisemitism as we continue to build an inclusive campus community. These include:

  • Creation of a Presidential Task Force on Addressing Antisemitism. This task force will:

    • Create a recommended protocol for how to react to incidents of antisemitism, hate and bias toward members of the Jewish community on campus or toward the Jewish community as a whole in collaboration with Inclusive SDSU

    • Identify strategies to create a more Jewish-inclusive campus

    • Provide recommendations on programs, events, and learning opportunities that highlight the rich diversity and history of those who identity as Jewish

  • Celebration of the first annual Jewish American Heritage month as part of SDSU’s strategic plan activity to amplify diversity celebrations on campus

  • Development of a new special topics course in the Jewish Studies Program examining/exploring Antisemitism in America

SDSU’s Commitment

We urge you to participate in these opportunities for dialogue. It is incumbent upon every member of the SDSU Community to ensure that our campus is welcoming and safe for all, including our Jewish students, faculty and staff.

To all members of the Jewish community: We stand with you, we support you, and we will continue to do our part to promote a more inclusive and just society.

Adela de la Torre, Ph.D.
San Diego State University President

J. Luke Wood, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity

Christian J. Holt
Associated Students President


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