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Dissecting the Jewish Federation of Orange County’s letter about UCI:

Over the past two and a half weeks, there has been a great deal of anti-Israel/anti-Semitic activity on the UCI campus which has resulted in numerous calls and emails to the Federation.

All of this was predicted and the same as year’s past – just worse.

Hopefully you have received the invitation for the Town Hall Meeting with UCI Chancellor Michael Drake this coming Wednesday, May 30th at 7:00 P.M. at Congregation Shir Ha Ma’alot in Irvine.

Why not at the JCC? or Tarbut? Why a Synagogue?

These activities included former President Jimmy Carter speaking on campus as well as the Muslim Student Union’s “Holocaust Remembrance” week (where their goal was to belittle the importance of the actual Holocaust), and their annual anti-Israel week – this year titled “Israel: Apartheid Resurrected.” As in the past, the week was filled with vitriolic speakers who came with a message of hate that was spread through half-truths, manipulations, and out-right lies, as well as their rendition of the “apartheid wall” – which stood about 40’ long and 15’ high and was filled with graphic pictures, statements, and lies.

The wall was fifty feet long. The events were more than just bad speeches. There was thuggery, blood libel symbolism, Jews called Nazis and more.

Over this time, most Jewish students avoided the area where the MSU was holding its events. WHAT PROOF DO YOU HAVE OF THIS?

And for those students who did come by, many of them felt their tensions and anxieties rise. Throughout the week, there were several minor incidences involving alleged harassment and misconduct towards the Jewish students.

All students were encouraged to inform the university as well as to file formal complaints. In addition, ADL, Jewish Federation, and Hillel leaders were present throughout the week; interacting with the administration and campus police officials, supporting the students, and speaking with reporters.

Yes you were there and doing nothing. We dragged you over to sing with the students. How can you be the leader of the Jewish community without leading? What in the world is interacting? is that like talking with them? How were you supporting students? Provide specifics please. Reporters??? Oh, so you get to speak to reporters about how you are interacting with the administration and meanwhile they are saying that Jews are Nazis and you are passive.

During the course of those two weeks, the Jewish and pro-Israel students continued their quarter long “got peace? got Israel” campaign which focused on the diversity, democracy, rights, and freedoms within Israel. The campaign which started at the beginning of the quarter with ads in the papers such as “got diversity?” “got democracy?” culminated in a week geared at educating the campus about Israel, what the country stands for, and its universal desire for peace. Students were given “got peace? got Israel” shirts and there was food and entertainment the entire week. In addition, students handed out information specifically about the speakers and refuting the blatant misrepresentations and horrific pictures and images depicted on the “apartheid wall”.

got peace got Israel is a waste of money. A poor excuse for a response.

In the months and weeks leading up to these events, Hillel and Federation leadership have been meeting with UCI administration, faculty and students to determine the best course of action to take under these difficult circumstances. We have worked together with the AJC and ADL and with many concerned community members so that our voices could be heard clearly and concisely.

It is in that spirit, UCI Chancellor Michael Drake has agreed to meet in an open town hall format to address our community concerns directly. Over 300 people have already RSVP’d for the town hall meeting. If you are concerned as we are about these events, we encourage you to RSVP immediately and be part of the conversation. You can reserve a seat by sending an email to or by calling 949-435-3484 or 714-755-5555, ext. 344.

The challenges ahead will be difficult but we must continue to act as a community and do everything possible to continue to build Jewish identity on campus and ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all students.

We hope to see you next Wednesday evening!

Shabbat Shalom,

Shalom C. Elcott

Chief Executive Officer

Jewish Federation Orange County


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