San Francisco State University Faces Second Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Against Jewish Students

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Two Jewish students are pursuing a civil rights lawsuit against San Francisco State University for alleged discrimination that left them feeling threatened and alienated from campus life.

“SFSU has a long and documented history of institutionalized anti-Semitism,” charged the complaint, filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of San Francisco on behalf of students Charles Volk and Liam Kern.

The lawsuit, which also targets the Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU), warned that Jews at SFSU are “often afraid to wear Stars of David or yarmulkes.”

“Jews on campus face racist slurs and epithets,” asserted the plaintiffs, who are represented by attorneys from The Lawfare Project — a nonprofit focused on cases alleging antisemitic discrimination — and the legal firm Winston & Strawn.

SFSU’s Jewish community is confronted with “blood libels that can be traced directly to the notoriously hateful forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the complaint continued, “displays and events on campus that equate them with Nazis and baby murderers; deprivations of their rights to speak, listen, and assemble; threats, harassment, intimidation, and bullying.”

The lawsuit specifically pointed to a February 2017 incident when the Jewish campus group Hillel, of which Volk and Kern are both members, was “intentionally and surreptitiously” barred from participating in a “Know Your Rights” information fair at SFSU.

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