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Simon Wiesenthal Center meets with UCLA chancellor to discuss anti-Semitism

UCLA
According to the Wiesenthal Center, the chancellor and his staff agreed to participate in the Museum of Tolerance’s Tools For Tolerance diversity training program.(Thinkstock)

Simon Wiesenthal Center officials said today they met with UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to discuss what they contend is increasing anti-Semitism on the Westwood campus.

A center spokesperson said the meeting Wednesday was the result of the recent revelation that the appointment of a Jewish student to the university’s Judicial Board was challenged by board members who said her faith could compromise her impartiality.

A UCLA media representative had no immediate comment on the meeting with Rabbi Meyer H. May.

But according to the Wiesenthal Center, the chancellor and his staff agreed to participate in the Museum of Tolerance’s Tools For Tolerance diversity training program.

May and Aron Hier, the center’s campus outreach director, suggested that UCLA students could visit the museum for diversity training at no cost or that the museum could bring IACT Impact, its interactive workshop dealing with anti-Semitism, to UCLA, according to the Wiesenthal Center.

Block said he would urge the students to consider those programs, the center said.

“While the Simon Wiesenthal Center will aggressively defend Jewish students and faculty on North America’s college campuses against anti-Semitism and intimidation, we also are determined to use the full weight and sophistication of our acclaimed Tools for Tolerance diversity training programs at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles … to help universities like UCLA address campus intolerance and build bridges of communication and respect on the campuses. as well,” May said.

“We were pleased to find UCLA Chancellor Block and his senior executives responsive to the urgency of the hour and hope that the administrators and students will quickly avail themselves of the opportunities we offered to them at the museum,” he added.

University of California President Janet Napolitano and UC Board of Regents Chairman Bruce Varner issued a statement Wednesday saying that anti- Semitism will not be tolerated on college campuses.

“Like other members of the University of California, we were appalled when student government representatives at UCLA doubted the ability of a Jewish student to serve on the Judicial Board without bias simply because of her faith,” they said.

“While the student government representatives ultimately realized they were wrong to treat this student as they had, and voted unanimously to appoint her to the board, the initial action wounded the entire UC community,” their joint statement continued. “Anti-Semitic incidents … as well as bigotry directed against any members of the UC community because of their faith, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, will not be tolerated.”

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