Alums for Campus Fairness Launches Campaign Calling on Governor Hochul, CUNY Board Chair Bill Thompson to Take Action on Antisemitism at CUNY, Beginning with Federal Intervention

New York, NY – Today, Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), America's unified alumni voice countering antisemitism on college and university campuses, announced the launch of a six-figure grassroots and paid media initiative highlighting institutional failures by the City University of New York (CUNY), New York Governor Kathy Hochul and CUNY Board Chair Bill Thompson. 

The ACF initiative includes a significant investment in both print and digital media advertisements, a new petition urging Governor Hochul, alongside CUNY Board Chair Bill Thompson to take action to protect Jewish students, as well as grassroots mobilization efforts throughout the fall semester.

ACF Executive Director Avi D. Gordon said:

“In the wake of repeated antisemitic incidents and the complete indifference of CUNY leaders, alumni and students will not sit idly by. The Jewish community has been made to feel unheard and unwanted on CUNY campuses. Many Jews now fear for their physical safety. Now is the time for CUNY leadership, especially Chair Thompson, to correct course and take immediate action to create a safer environment for our community. This campaign continues our efforts to hold them accountable.

“Though Governor Hochul took a meaningful step forward last week in signing the Hate Crime Reporting on College Campus Act, the fact is that CUNY is still far behind where it needs to be in taking meaningful action. The climate for Jewish students on CUNY campuses is worsening each year. For starters, the university should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism.

“Going even further, as the university has proven unable to do so on its own, we are calling on Governor Hochul and Chair Thompson to invite the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to investigate and address the prevailing issue of antisemitic hate on CUNY campuses, as it did at the University of Vermont earlier this year.”

In April, OCR resolved an investigation into UVM’s failure to adequately respond to reports of antisemitic harassment. According to OCR’s investigation, the university received notice of antisemitic incidents but did not investigate through its Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO) Office. The allegations included student groups excluding Jewish students, students throwing rocks at a building housing Hillel and student dormitory space, and a teaching assistant posting on social media about not giving Jewish students course participation credit.

“The UVM model provides a pathway out of the darkness for CUNY. To that end, we are calling on Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams to take action and bring in OCR to investigate and address antisemitism at CUNY, which has proven time and again to be an institutional issue,” continued ACF Executive Director Avi D. Gordon, highlighting recent incidents:

  • A featured speaker at CUNY Law’s 2023 commencement ceremony harangued the audience about the perfidious nature of Jews and Israel, using thinly veiled tropes like ‘ending Zionism around the world,’ that were met with applause from the Law School’s Dean, Sudha Setty;

  • CUNY Law’s Student Government Association passed a resolution to ban Hillel and other mainstream Jewish institutions;

  • Faculty endorsed the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign;

  • A CUNY group issued a statement pledging to create programs and networks to challenge and critique Jews so that they may “unlearn” Zionism and their Jewish identity;

  • Nerdeen Kiswani, CUNY Law’s 2022 commencement speaker, praised ax-wielding terrorists who murdered three Jewish civilians and called to “globalize the intifada” and eradicate the State of Israel;

  • Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez refused to take action, including dodging a City Council hearing on antisemitism in the university system.

About ACF: Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) harnesses the unique power of alumni to counter antisemitism, including demonization of Israel and other forms of bigotry at universities. In the face of unprecedented attacks on Jewish and Zionist students, staff and faculty, ACF’s network acts to address acts of antisemitism on campus and ensure that universities remain pillars of truth and academic freedom. ACF members proactively engage with the administration at their alma maters to prevent discrimination, promote open dialogue, and foster respectful debate. Learn more at