For Immediate Release
November 17, 2023
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, welcomed Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and the Department of Education’s announcement of investigations of several universities for violations of their legal obligation to protect students against antisemitic harassment on campus.
The investigations announced are into Cornell University, Columbia University, Wellesley College, University of Pennsylvania, and Cooper Union.
Following a pivotal October 30 meeting between American Jewish leaders—including Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Hauer and OU Advocacy Executive Director Nathan Diament—and U.S. Secretary of Education Cardona on October 30, the Orthodox Union conducted ongoing conversations with the Department of Education officials, advocating for concrete actions to address the rising antisemitism plaguing educational settings.
On November 14, Rabbi Moshe Hauer delivered compelling testimony at a hearing before the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee, shedding light on the alarming prevalence of antisemitism on college campuses and demanding the federal government intervene via Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
In response to these collective efforts, the announcement by the Dept. of Education’s Office of Civil Rights of the Title VI investigations signifies a crucial step forward in addressing the surge of antisemitism at too many American schools.
Rabbi Moshe Hauer stated:
“The opening of these federal investigations marks an important turning point in the U.S. government’s response to antisemitism. We are encouraged by the Department of Education’s response to our concerns and are committed to working together to promote tolerance and respect within educational settings. Jewish students have the right to be safe.”
Nathan Diament stated:
“We commend the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Lhamon, for taking concrete action to address the wave of antisemitism at these universities. We also appreciate Secretary Cardona’s clear public statement that those universities that fail to protect their Jewish students against antisemitism and thus fail to meet their legal obligations under the Civil Rights Act may well lose their federal funding support. We hope these actions and words will result in university leaders acting decisively to protect their Jewish students, as they should.”