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House Education committee to investigate Rutgers as part of expanding antisemitism probe

‘Rutgers stands out for the intensity and pervasiveness of antisemitism on its campuses,’ Rep. Virginia Foxx said in a letter to the school’s leaders

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) walks to the House floor for a vote in the Capitol on Friday, September 29, 2023.

The House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday requested documents from Rutgers University on its handling of antisemitism on its campuses, the sixth school and the second public college targeted under the committee’s antisemitism probe.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the committee’s chair, wrote on Wednesday to Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway, Board of Governors Chair William E. Best and the chancellors of Rutgers’ Newark, Camden and New Brunswick campuses about antisemitic incidents across the university system.

“Rutgers stands out for the intensity and pervasiveness of antisemitism on its campuses,” Foxx said. “Rutgers senior administrators, faculty, staff, academic departments and centers, and student organizations have contributed to the development of a pervasive climate of antisemitism.”

The letter highlights concerns about the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR), which Foxx described as “notorious as a hotbed of radical antisemitic, anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-terrorist activity,” pointing to statements by the center, its leadership and its affiliates, as well as events and speakers it has sponsored.

She also pointed to antisemitic and anti-Israel activity by other Rutgers faculty, staff and institutions, and Rutgers Students for Justice in Palestine, as well as other incidents of vandalism.

The letter accuses Rutgers SJP of “a history of violation of university rules,” and notes that the group has received significant support from the student government and was only briefly suspended on the New Brunswick campus.

The letter further blasts then-Rutgers New Brunswick Chancellor Christopher Malloy for apologizing for a statement condemning antisemitism and other forms of bigotry, and notes that Rutgers Newark’s Jewish population falls well below the state’s overall Jewish population.

Foxx requested, by April 10, documents relating to antisemitism and anti-Israel activity on Rutgers’ campuses and its responses to it; internal communications and meeting minutes from Board of Governors meetings; all documents relating to the CSRR; documents on funding for Rutgers SJP; documents relating to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions efforts at Rutgers; documents on the school’s diversity, equity and inclusion offices and programs; and information on foreign donations, particularly from Qatar.

“Rutgers takes claims of antisemitism, and all forms of bias and intolerance, very seriously. The university received the committee’s letter and will respond directly to the chairwoman,” Rutgers said in a statement.

Rutgers, and the CSRR in particular, have also come under scrutiny from Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Local Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) has also raised concerns about events on Rutgers’ campuses.

This story was updated on March 27 at 4:40 p.m. to include a statement from Rutgers.

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