Antisemitism and Free Speech on Campus

Posted On Apr 8, 2024 / 5784

The Bernard G. Segal Memorial Lecture in Law and Ethics

In the aftermath of the horrific events of October 7, issues of antisemitism and free speech have roiled college campuses, with tremendous significance for the Jewish community, the nature of higher education in our society, and democracy itself. How can universities foster both free speech and a sense of inclusion and belonging, so that all members of the campus community can flourish? Should boundaries of acceptable speech be drawn? In what ways can schools encourage civil and informed discourse across difference?  

This important and timely program explores how institutions of higher education can preserve the right of free expression while combatting antisemitic harassment and ensuring that Jewish students, faculty, and staff can feel safe, supported, and welcome. 

About the Speakers

Sigal Ben-Porath is MRMJJ Presidential Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also a member of the philosophy and the political science departments and faculty director of the SNF Paideia Program for civic dialogue. Among her recent books are Cancel Wars: How Universities Can Foster Free Speech, Promote Inclusion, and Renew Democracy, and Free Speech on Campus. She chaired Penn’s Committee on Open Expression and is currently a member of Penn’s Commission to Address Hate. In the past decade she has been offering guidance to college campuses on policy development and responses to controversies surrounding speech. A native of Israel, she received her doctorate in political philosophy from Tel-Aviv University. 

David Schizer is Dean Emeritus and Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law & Economics at Columbia Law School. A co-chair of Columbia University’s new task force on antisemitism, he also is a co-founder and co-chair of the Center for Israeli Legal Studies at Columbia Law School. He served as dean of the law school from 2004 to 2014, and as CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a global Jewish humanitarian organization, from 2017 to 2019. He served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Alex Kozinski on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is author of How to Save the World in Six (Not So Easy) Steps: Bringing Out the Best in Nonprofits, and complimentary copies will be available at the program courtesy of the Columbia Center for Israeli Legal Studies.  

About the Segal Memorial Lecture 

The annual Bernard G. Segal Memorial Lecture was established by JTS in honor of the late philanthropist and community leader. Mr. Segal was the first Jewish president of the American Bar Association and the first Jewish chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.