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Speaker discusses growing anti-Semitism on college campuses

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From page A7 | January 11, 2012 |

Anti-Semitism on college campuses in California, including at UC Davis, will be the focus of Matthew White’s talk Sunday, Jan. 29, at Congregation Beth Shalom in Carmichael.

White is NorCal, Oregon and Washington campus coordinator for StandWithUs.

He has documented recent examples of what he calls pervasive and growing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses, including UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley. White also will address what can be done.

His 7 p.m. talk is free and open to the public at Congregation Beth Shalom, 4746 El Camino Ave. in Carmichael. The Davis Chapter of StandWithUs is co-sponsoring this event.

White graduated from UC Berkeley last spring with a bachelor’s degree in history. In his freshman year, he was a founding member of UC Berkeley’s Israel action group, Tikvah Students for Israel, which educates and mobilizes Jewish and other students to counter anti-Israel rhetoric.

In 2010, he organized a counter-offensive to the campus initiative to divest from companies selling to Israel, which ultimately was defeated. This brought him in contact with StandWithUs and the StandWithUs Emerson Fellow, which supports students on campus.

“It was the logical next step to join StandWithUs to extend my activism from just one campus to making a difference in many,” White said in a news release.

He is fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi and Urdu and has studied Russian, French, Yiddish, Farsi, Arabic and Armenian. He studied at Delhi University in India for six months before his college graduation.

White’s talk is part of Congregation Beth Shalom’s “One Shot of Espresso” series, which “provides insight on contemporary Jewish issues in one intensive program.” The program has examined such topics as contemporary meaning and relevance of circumsion and kashrut.

On Feb. 22, Beth Shalom will host Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Action Center, talking about civil rights and women’s rights.

More than 260 member families worship at Beth Shalom in the warmth of a small Reform congregation with a level of services and activities usually found only in much larger temples. At Congregation Beth Shalom, where members come from a variety of backgrounds encompassing a range of beliefs and practices, everyone is welcome to participate in temple life. For more information, visit http://www.cbshalom.org.

StandWithUs just celebrated its 10th year. It is a nonprofit, international Israel education organization that supports people around the world who want to educate their own local campuses and communities about Israel.

The organization has 15 chapters throughout the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom and France, including Davis, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.standwithus.com.

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