California College Votes to Suspend Study Abroad in Israel

03 Dec 2018

Recent months have seen college professors, acting on political grounds, opposing their students’ intentions to study in Israel, including two instructors at the University of Michigan who refused to write letters of recommendation for students to study there. Now, the faculty of Pitzer College in Southern California has voted to suspend the school’s study abroad program at Haifa University in Israel and to condemn the school’s trustees for opposing a student government resolution to divest from Israel.

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, director of the anti-Semitism campus monitor the AMCHA initiative, said there previously have been cases of faculty members at colleges signing petitions to suspend or shut down Israel study abroad programs but that this is the first time an official faculty body has voted to do so.

Pitzer runs a semester abroad program at the University of Haifa. A spokesperson said that the program will continue to be available “while the topic is undergoing a college-wide shared governance process.”

According to Hillel International, 11 percent of the Pitzer’s 1,000 students are Jewish.

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