StandWithUs Files Amicus Brief in Support of Fordham University September 29, 2020
(New York, NY) -- StandWithUs, through the invaluable assistance of our pro bono attorney network that works together with the StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department and the StandWithUs Center for Combating Antisemitism, filed an amicus brief on September 29, 2020, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division – First Department, in support of Fordham University. StandWithUs is the first and only pro-Israel organization to obtain leave to file an amicus brief in this matter to date. The case involves Fordham administration’s denial that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) receive formal recognition as a student organization due to the group’s longstanding and well-documented antisemitic conduct, a decision subsequently reversed by a lower court.
“Fordham University is one of the first universities – if not the first – to recognize SJP's bigotry for what it is and stand up against hate,” said StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein. “We understand the administration’s decision to reject SJP as a university-recognized student organization. As a private university, Fordham should have the freedom to make such choices to protect what they perceive to be the well-being of its students and integrity of its campus, and the Fordham administration should be commended for their efforts to do that.”
The StandWithUs brief argues that the court improperly substituted its own judgement for that of a private university, which properly followed its established protocol in denying SJP formal recognition. “The issue here is not about freedom of expression. A private university chose not to recognize what they perceived to be a divisive student organization, and when the court incorrectly compelled the university to do so, it was the private university’s rights that were ignored,” StandWithUs pro bono attorney Aaron Eitan Meyer said. “We hope the appellate court recognizes this error and reverses the lower court, thereby reinstating Fordham’s reasoned decision.”
StandWithUs gives immeasurable thanks to its pro bono team, attorneys Aaron Eitan Meyer and Davida Scher, as well as recent law school graduate Jessica Behmanesh, for their tireless dedication to the fight against antisemitism, including the preparation and filing of this brief on behalf of StandWithUs.
Click here to read the amicus brief.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism. Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on 5 continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.