News

Thursday, August 17, 2017

By Jacqui Irwin and Henry Stern

Ventura County is one of the best places in California to raise a family. From our epic coastline and pristine open spaces to our unwavering commitment to safe communities and top-notch schools, we are fortunate to call this region home.

But the recent racist, anti-faith and anti-immigrant activity in Ventura County has turned a spotlight on the uglier side of our region and presents us with a choice: to speak out or be silent.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Under prodding from the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, the California State University chancellor’s office says it will take a more active role in the often challenging plight of Jewish students at San Francisco State University.

The chancellor’s office has named a liaison to monitor the campus climate for Jewish students at SFSU, and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White has committed to working with SFSU to create some sort of “statement of principles on intolerance,” state Assemblyman Marc Levine, chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said on July 14.

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus, founded in 2014, includes members of the California Senate and Assembly; it now stands at 16 members, with eight from each legislative body. The group’s goal is to “be a Jewish voice for justice, equality and progress” and to “serve as a resource to, and advocate on behalf of, the professional, educational, social, political and cultural concerns of the Jewish community.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Other states, like California, are also considering legislation to enhance security at faith-based schools.

Assemblyman Marc Levine, a Marion County Democrat, has filed Assembly Bill 927, setting aside $10 million to provide security at faith-based schools in the state.

“The problem is that while most public schools can afford security to protect the children, faith-based schools do not have the same degree of funding,” Levine wrote in the Sacramento Bee alongside retired basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

If you saw a young child being attacked on the street, would you do something to stop it?

That’s a defining question to a person’s moral character. But it’s also a defining question for a community’s moral character: What are we willing to do to protect our children?

Monday, March 20, 2017

When Marc Levine and Richard Bloom were sworn into office on Dec. 3, 2012, they became the only Jewish members of the state Assembly. Now, two terms later, they’re part of a thriving 16-member California Legislative Jewish Caucus.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

We are grateful that the Daily Bruin has apologized for the offensive editorial cartoon that ran in yesterday’s edition. As individuals, and in our organizational capacities, we have repeatedly emphasized the need for collective humility – to realize when we have hurt others, to show the courage to admit error and to manifest the integrity to make amends.

In a diverse culture, it’s presumptuous to think that we fully know and understand each other; accordingly, we should be mindful about misusing or maligning deeply held cultural or religious touchstones. As the Bruin noted in its apology, “it’s wrong to perpetuate harmful stereotypes – intentional or otherwise.”

We understand that political cartoons have a long history as an important means of political debate. Unfortunately, that history also includes times when editorial pages have descended into racist and anti-Semitic imagery. We can and must do better than that. Speech has consequences.

None of us would like core symbols of our identity appropriated or mocked, and we should be vigilant in objecting if it happens to others. In our fall message to the community, we called upon the campus to elevate the political discourse and reject cheap shots and caricature.

We renew that call today. As we pursue our political passions we must strive to do so without demeaning each other. Wielding the power of the pen carries with it also the responsibility to remember that words and images matter.

Kang is the vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Gorden is the interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs.

Monday, January 30, 2017

President Trump's executive order banning refugees from the U.S. and closing the nation's borders to people from seven predominantly Muslim countries sent Bay Area Jewish community members to San Francisco International Airport this past weekend as thousands protested the move.

Friday, January 6, 2017

As they approach their work in Sacramento this year, Jewish lawmakers assume an outsized importance. California is seen as an important battleground for issues such as immigration and climate change that are putting progressive states seemingly at odds with the incoming presidential administration. And at the center of California’s progressive politics, members say, is the Jewish caucus.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

9/29/16 - State Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego), chairman of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said the bill was carefully crafted to avoid encroaching upon freedom of speech. “That said, the bill seeks to ensure that those wishing to do business with California are not using First Amendment arguments as a pretext to practice illegal discrimination in the form of boycotts,” Block said in a news release, questioning whether the “current BDS movement [is] merely an attempt to resurrect the age-old boycotts of Jewish merchants, rooted in virulent anti-Semitism, this time masked as First Amendment-protected political speech.”

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

In the midst of an historic drought, California farmers and legislators turn to Israel for ideas about how to grow more crops with less water.

PC 2016 - California-Israel Water Cooperation