Some of America's most powerful legal firms have warned America's elite colleges to crackdown on antisemitism or face serious consequences.
In a letter obtained by CNN, more than a dozen law firms stated that they were alarmed by reports of antisemitic harassment and vandalism on college campuses. This included rallies calling for Jews to be killed and Israel's elimination. Such anti-Semitic activity would not be tolerated by any of our law firms.
The law firms said they would not tolerate outside groups that engage in harassment and violence threats, which has been happening on many campuses. They also warned universities about the hiring implications for the future.
The law firms said that as employers that recruit from your law schools, they expect you to make sure that your students, who are hoping to join us after graduation, are ready to participate in workplace communities with zero tolerance policies against any form of harassment or discrimination, even if it is not the type that was taking place at some law school campuses.
Students who have graduated from these law schools are able to find employment at the law firms that support the letter, such as: Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Debevoise & Plimpton, Kirkland & Ellis, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
According to the New York law firm, Joe Shenker is senior chair at Sullivan & Cromwell.
CNN reported that the letter was sent to deans of several law schools, including Yale, Harvard and Columbia. It also went out to Georgetown, University of Virginia, Cornell, Cornell University, University of Michigan, New York University, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia.
The letter stated that 'anti-Semitism is not tolerated on our campuses, our workplaces, or in our communities.
Some students have already experienced real-world consequences.
Ryna Workman released a letter last month in which she said that Israel "bears the full responsibility for the tremendous loss of lives." 'Law Firm Winston & Strawn immediately retracted a job offer to that NYU student who had previously worked at the firm as a Summer Associate.
Workman later said that she regretted that her words 'did not seem to be sensitive enough towards the suffering of Israelis in this time of crisis'. Workman said that they received numerous death threats after their initial remarks.
In the letter sent by the law firms to the law schools on Wednesday, the firms requested a dialog in order to better understand the law schools' 'urgent response' regarding the'serious situation' at their law schools.
On the same day the letter was sent, some elite universitiesgrappling with sky-high tensionsover the Israel-Hamas war launched new efforts to fight antisemitism.
Liz Magill, University of Pennsylvania president, faced a backlash from donors who called for her removal. She unveiled a plan of action to combat antisemitism on Wednesday. The plan was developed after a meeting with Jewish leaders from around the country, as well as faculty, staff, alumni and students, according to the school.
Magill, in an open letter sent to the Penn community, wrote that 'this is a very challenging time in the world and we feel its reverberations here on campus'. We can and will do more to fight antisemitism, and reject hatred in all of its forms.
Columbia University also announcedWednesday it is forming a task force onantisemitismfollowing a 'series of antisemitic incidents' on campus.
In a press release, Columbia University officials said that they hoped antisemitism had been consigned to history by the 21st century. It has been on the rise in New York City and across the nation in the last few years.
Gillian Lester is the dean of Columbia Law School. She recounted a recent incident in which an antisemitic insult was directed at a visible Jewish student of the law faculty.
Last month, Columbia University student who was displaying posters in support of Israel on campus was attacked.
A Cornell University student who was accused of posting online threats against members of the Jewish community at the university, was arrested earlier this week and charged with federal charges of 'posting a threat to kill or harm another using interstate communication'