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Friday, August 18, 2023

3d Annual "Law v. Antisemitism" Conference (February 25-26 2024) (Moved to Top)

Posting this one final time, with the deadline two weeks away. Please submit if interested and spread the word to people who might be.

FIU College of Law will host the 3d Annual "Law v. Antisemitism" Conference, Sunday-Monday, February 25-26, 2024. I am co-organizer with Rob Katz (Indiana-Inianapolis) and Diane Kemker (visiting at DePaul). The CFP and details after the jump.

Reposting with the deadline on September 1.


3rd Annual “Law vs. Antisemitism” Conference (February 25-26, 2024)

FIU College of Law, Miami, Florida

You are invited to submit a paper or presentation for the 3rd Annual Law vs. Antisemitism Conference. The Conference aims to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to present research and developments on the intersection of law and antisemitism -- how law has manifested and perpetuated antisemitism, and how law has been and can be used to combat it.

Areas of interest for the conference include, but are not limited to, the following themes and topics.

  • The Working Definition of Antisemitism developed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), its legal implications, critics and competing definitions (e.g., Nexus, JDA)
  • Legal efforts in the U.S. and abroad to curtail expressions of antisemitism, e.g., by regulating hate speech, hate speech online, Holocaust denialism, and hate crimes
  • Laws that authorize religious expression in public spaces, laws that target Jews and other religious minorities, and generally applicable laws that burden Jewish observance, including abortion bans (in the context of Dobbs)
  • Legal responses to the Boycott-Divest-Sanctions (BDS) movement and other efforts to counter boycotts of Israel
  • Comparisons between antisemitism and bias and discrimination based on race (including African Americans and Asian Americans) gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, or other categories
  • Jews and whiteness, including white privilege, white nationalism, and white supremacy
  • Intersectional issues (Jews as a religious/ethnic group; LBGTQ Jews; Black Jews, Jewish women)
  • Official discrimination against Jews, both historic and contemporary, including bars to holding office, immigration restrictions, housing and zoning restrictions
  • Jews and antisemitism in the legal profession
  • Jews as a protected class under federal and state civil rights statutes
  • Jews and employment law, including employment discrimination, religious accommodations, and the ministerial exception
  • Jews and antisemitism in higher education, including anti-Jewish quotas, Jewish perspectives on affirmative action, Title VI and hostile environments, faculty and student expression and actions concerning Israel and Zionism
  • Law and the Holocaust, punishing the perpetrators, restitution for the victims
  • The legal construction of Jewish identity (e.g., defining who is a Jew for purposes of the Law of Return, the Nuremberg laws)
  • Case studies in antisemitism, e.g., the Dreyfus Affair, the Leo Frank trial
  • Translating research on law and antisemitism into practical strategies for countering antisemitism through law
  • Pedagogical approaches to teaching about the relationship between law and antisemitism

We invite scholars to reflect on the relationship between antisemitism, Jews, and the law, historically and in the contemporary environment, especially but not exclusively in the United States. We especially welcome papers and presentations that propose changes in law and policy with promise for ameliorating antisemitism and its effects. Please submit an Abstract of 300-500 words to [email protected]. Selected papers from the Conference will have an opportunity to be published in an upcoming issue of the FIU Law Review dedicated to the Symposium. (Questions may also be directed to [email protected].)

Proposals due September 1, 2023             

Presenters will be notified by October 1, 2023

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 18, 2023 at 02:11 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


Psycho-social, physical impact of antisemitism on college students
By Lilli Friedland Ph.D., A.B.P.P. and Leslie O’Donnell Ph.D.

This presentation explores the psycho-social and physical impact of conditions on campus that make Jewish students feel unsafe as Jews.

The academic environment is the epicenter for the identity-formation development during the early years of adulthood. The period between 18-29 years - emerging adulthood is critical to the individual’s personal and social development. It is in these years that people leave their familiar environments (home, friends, family, and surroundings), and venture into the unfamiliar (forming new friends and relationships, new living arrangements, and make decisions with long-term consequences. The excessive stress that can result from living in an unfamiliar environment and with new people can be buffered by supportive and protective factors.

Psychological safety is the absence of interpersonal fear and required for learning and exploration. Yet, 95% of Jewish college students and recent graduates feel antisemitism is a major problem on campuses and at least 80% experienced it personally. Jews are ‘a people’ with different ways identifying with being Jewish. Jews are a diverse group connected by elements of culture, race, ethnicity, history, and religion. Eight-in-ten U.S. Jews say caring about Israel is an essential or important part of what being Jewish means to them. Attacks and disparagement of Israel is experienced as antisemitism. Campus officials have a difficult time understanding antisemitism especially when connected to Israel as they tend to view denigration or vilification (e.g., BDS) of Zionism as a political debate, rather than a deeply hurtful attack on Jewish identity. Students who have positive relationships with their teachers tend to be less bullied by their peers. Yet, faculty and academic departments play a significant role in attacks on Jewish students. Yet, faculty and academic departments play a significant role in attacks on Jewish students. Faculty support for BDS is correlated with higher incidents of antisemitism on college campuses. Students have also experienced direct intimidation and hostility within the classroom. (See, for example, the letter to Northeastern University naming specific professors, or the experience of graduate psychology students in a Diversity course at George Washington University.

Cultural identity refers to the ways in which individuals define themselves in relation to the groups to which they belong (e.g., family, religious community, nation). During emerging adulthood, ethnic minorities need to figure out their own identity in the context of the larger society. Identity uncertainty in emerging adulthood represents an important risk factor for the development of mental health problems and psychopathology. Harassment based on one’s social identity, when compared with bullying, can have more harmful mental health and social effects for targeted youth. The stress of facing antisemitic incidents, discrimination, micro-aggressions, threat or violence can lead to increased heart rate, inflammation, weakening immunity, high blood pressure. Subjective factors related to social inclusion and exclusion affect an individual’s relations and sense of agency. Bullying, ostracism, threats, and harassment for being Jewish impacts their personal and social identity, the long-term decisions they make, and has adverse psychological, social, and physical consequences. A better understanding these consequences can help administrators, educations, and policy-makers develop effective responses to anti-Jewish bullying, exclusion and threats.

Posted by: Lilli Friedland | Aug 29, 2023 11:57:36 PM

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