August 23, 2022
Dear Trojan Community,
Over the last several months, I have had the opportunity to speak with many of you regarding our response to the increasing prevalence of antisemitism on college campuses nationwide, including at USC. Thank you again for the deep commitment and care you have shown towards our Jewish students, faculty, and staff, and for your help in ensuring that USC remains a destination university for Jewish individuals and communities.
Antisemitism is a pervasive and ancient form of hatred, and incidents of it have dramatically risen over the last several years. Along with many other universities and organizations, we recognized the opportunity to take specific and direct action to address it and other forms of anti-Jewish hatred. In January, I wrote to you about the actions our administration was taking, including the formation of an Advisory Committee on Jewish Life at USC. This historic committee worked throughout the Spring 2022 semester to review a number of proposed actions to tangibly support Jewish students, faculty, and staff. Today, I am pleased to share that I have accepted their
final report, and look forward to continuing to work with this committee to implement its recommendations.
The committee’s recommendations give us tangible direction across nearly every aspect of Jewish life at USC, including experiences of antisemitism, university processes and policies, the Jewish experience on campus, and education and training. The next phase is implementation, and while many of these recommendations are already underway, we will work to implement them as quickly as we can.
I want to thank the committee members for their thoughtful and respectful approach to these complicated issues. This committee was made up of USC faculty, staff, and students, and comprised representatives from organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Jewish Federation, and American Jewish Committee, as well as leadership from USC Hillel, Chabad @ USC, the USC Shoah Foundation, the USC Casden Institute, and Hebrew Union College. More information about the committee, including a full list of the committee’s membership, can be found here.
More information on the actions we have taken to combat antisemitism, including past messages and FAQs, are available on our Addressing Antisemitism webpage.
Finally, I want to re-emphasize my deep and longstanding commitment to this work. Our Jewish community at USC is vibrant, and we are lucky to have one of the largest Jewish student bodies in the country. I look forward to continuing to celebrate and engage with you. Thank you again to the members of the Advisory Committee on Jewish Life at USC for your time, energy, dedication, and passion. We are deeply grateful for our strong partnerships within the Jewish community, and for our committed Jewish leadership on campus. I look forward to sharing further progress on these efforts with all of you soon.
Carol L. Folt