Emory Law Students to Fight Anti-Semitism

Emory Law Students to Fight Anti-Semitism

By Michael Jacobs / mjacobs@atljewishtimes.com

The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law launched its 11th student chapter Feb. 23 at the Emory University School of Law.

Kenneth Marcus founded and leads the Brandeis Center.

The student-run organization will support the Brandeis Center’s work against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activities on college campuses by investigating incidents, providing pro bono research and advocacy to victims of discrimination, filing legal complaints, and hosting speakers. Campus chapters also explore international human rights law issues and may pursue their interests at nearby colleges.

“This chapter will educate students about the problem of anti-Semitism in American universities,” Emory chapter President Michael Kleinman said. “If we can do our part to change perceptions now in the most important forums for learning and discourse, we can stem a growing problem and protect Jews and all people from hatred and bigotry.”

The Brandeis Center reached out to Emory law students after anti-Semitic incidents last fall, including the spray-painting of swastikas on the AEPi house.

Kenneth Marcus, the founder and president of the Brandeis Center, said the center started opening student chapters last year ago because, while many organizations support Jewish undergraduates, no other group targets law students. That’s a problem because anti-Israel movements on campuses are moving beyond undergrads to law schools.

A new report issued by the Brandeis Center and Trinity College, based on a survey of more than 1,100 students, says more than half of Jewish college students personally experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism in the previous year.

“There’s a greater urgency for students who support the Jewish community’s opposition to anti-Semitism to get involved,” Marcus said. “The need is greater than ever.”

Not only are law students important on campuses now, he said, but they also have potential to fight discrimination and influence public policy in the future as lawyers.

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