Immediate Actions

We will constitute and charge a University Task Force to address antisemitism

Reporting to the President, the Task Force will include faculty, staff, student, and alumni leaders. The Task Force will be expected to engage broadly with the goal of advising the President on the University’s ongoing efforts to combat antisemitism. Mark Wolff, Morton Amsterdam Dean of the School of Dental Medicine, will chair the Task Force. We are actively working to identify additional Task Force members and expect the Task Force to begin meeting in early November. 

Progress as of January 16, 2024:

  • The University Task Force on Antisemitism was convened and charged on November 16, 2023. Its membership was announced publicly on November 17.
  • The Task Force has been actively reaching out to, and hearing from, the University community through formal and informal channels. Dean Wolff, on behalf of the Task Force, reached out to the campus community—undergraduate students, graduate and professional students, post-docs, faculty, and staff—on November 17, inviting constituents to share feedback to a dedicated account. Through the end of December 2023, the Task Force had received approximately 170 individual inputs in the account, representing a broad array of ideas and perspectives.
  • The Task Force has conducted informational interviews with a wide variety of Penn experts. 
  • The Task Force submitted a preliminary draft status report to Interim President Jameson on December 19, 2023, and met with Interim President Jameson on January 11, 2024.
  • The Task Force will soon launch a series of campus listening sessions, in line with the first component of its charge: “The Task Force will be expected to engage broadly and deeply to better understand how members of the Penn community—especially including, but not limited to, students—experience antisemitism on campus.”

The President and Provost will convene a Student Advisory Group focused on the Jewish student experience at Penn

The advisory group will meet, at a minimum, quarterly and will be structured as an opportunity for the President and Provost to hear directly from Jewish students about their experience on campus, and will further build on conversations with University leaders, including the President, have had with Jewish students on campus. The advisory group will be constituted prior to Thanksgiving Break, and the first meeting will occur this semester. 

Progress as of January 16, 2024:

  • Over 80 applications were submitted, and 12 students were selected to serve on the Student Advisory Group, which will begin meeting within the first few weeks of the spring semester.

We will develop and advance partnerships with campus-based, and local, regional, and national organizations to counter antisemitism on college campuses

Penn is actively partnering with the American Jewish Committee (AJC), a leading global organization that is focused on countering antisemitism. University leadership will identify opportunities to strengthen Penn’s relationship with campus centers for religious life. We will actively pursue and evaluate additional external partnerships to ensure Penn is enacting proactive measures to combat antisemitism. 

Progress as of January 16, 2024:

  • Campus leaders have and will continue to meet with campus-based, as well as local, regional, and national leaders. Members of the University Task Force on Antisemitism recently attended the Annual Conference of the Association for Jewish Studies (San Francisco, December 17-19) and the Hillel International Global Assembly (Dallas, December 4-6).

Medium Term Actions

The Task Force, Student Advisory Group, our partners, and the entire Penn community will provide critical feedback that will shape our ongoing efforts. We fully expect and invite the Penn community to provide feedback as we strive to counter antisemitism, and to combat all forms of hate and bigotry