OC Jewish Experience

The official blog of Jewish Orange County

OC Community Leaders Visit Mark Yudof

l to r: Shalom Elcott. Dr. Jim Weiss, Jeff Margolis and Gerald Solomon

Jewish Federation Orange County President and CEO Shalom Elcott was joined by Gerald Solomon (Executive Director  of the Samueli Foundation) and Jeff Margolis and Dr. Jim Weiss (co-chairs of the Jewish Federation’s Rose Project) during a visit to the University of California Headquarters in Oakland, CA on Wednesday.

The group spoke at length with UC President Mark Yudof regarding the ongoing concerns and challenges at all UC campuses and in particular, UC Irvine visa-vis the Muslim Student Union’s (MSU) on-campus activities, which mostly recently includes the organized disruption of Ambassador Michael Oren’s visit on February 8, 2010.

Yudof expressed the following points to the visiting foursome:

* He is very supportive of Jewish Federation Orange County’s efforts in investing in opportunities to support positive dialogue on the campus.  He also commented that the Federation, through its Rose Project, is doing a commendable job to provide positive programs that support Jewish students.

* He was outraged that several students attempted to prevent Ambassador Oren’s right to free speech.

* These students should be prosecuted for violating the student code of conduct and breaking the law.

* He agreed that, pending an investigation with full due process, the Muslim Student Union (MSU) should be disciplined for their violations of campus codes of conduct.

Said Elcott after the meeting:  “Jewish Federation Orange County is working intensely with multiple channels of leadership on a local, national and international level who have a stake in the current challenges at UC Irvine.  We want to be sure the ongoing process proceeds quickly so that justice will be served.”


March 5, 2010 - Posted by | Jewish Federation Orange County, Rose Project, UC Irvine | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. And a wonderful time was had by all. Great photo op.

    Comment by gary fouse | March 5, 2010 | Reply

  2. I was present when Ambassador Michael Oren spoke at UCI. It was disgraceful when he was interrupted while trying to speak. But he finally did speak, & most eloquently. The Muslim students (eleven of them) were removed by the police. The Chancler Michael Drake said they would be expelled, but so far that has not happened, I do hope the University stands firm, & the group responsible will be disciplined.

    Comment by Rose Glasser | March 6, 2010 | Reply

  3. What ever happened to civil discorse? What ever happened to respectful dialog? The Muslim Student Union does nothing to forward their case by rude and inappropriate behavior.

    Comment by Lisa Cooper-Keil | March 7, 2010 | Reply

  4. I am tired of nice words from the UCI administration. Put some teeth into it and take some disciplinary ACTION. Right now, it looks to me as though the admin will threaten stern actions, then in practice, they do nothing. They allow these bullies to continue enrolled at UCI, then on to the next bully action maybe next week or next month. Parents do not want to send their kids to schools which allow continuing bullies to rule the campus. This is a disgusting cycle.

    Comment by truthbeknown | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. It is said that for evil to prosper all that is required is for good men/women to do nothing. The planned and purposeful disruption of Michael Oren’s speech by the Muslim Student Union is not an issue of free speech, but an act of aggression and non-tolerance against all the students and faculty at UCI. The illegal behavior needs to be modified by the execution of the law and the prosecution of the participates and their leadership. A message needs to be sent by the Universities of California that the rights of free speech will prevail over special interest groups with an ignorant agenda of prejudice.
    The fact that the issue had to be elevated above Chancler Michael Drake’s position in order for any action to be taken will not be forgotten.
    The Muslim Group’s aggressive behavior on the campus at UCI has been a problem for years and the administration has continued to look to other way and allow the behavior to escalate to the point that the Jewish students on campus do not feel safe or protected. The actions of this Muslim Group and the specific individuals involved in the incident need to be documented now so that they are discouraged from committing acts of violence in the future. This group has already taken the first steps in the wrong direction.
    I will continue to watch this issue to see if the UC leadership is committed to following through with the
    expulsion and legal prosecution of the students and non-students who were involved with this incident.

    Comment by Keith Pollan | March 10, 2010 | Reply

  6. Nice to see that bigots tend to congregate together. All of you commenters are beyond hilarious. Can you not see it is your bigotry and fundamental misunderstanding of free speech that is the actual issue?

    Clearly not… Most amusing, that this is an article about a special interest group meeting with administration officials to levy a list of demands and yet, as Keith says: “the rights of free speech will prevail over special interest groups with an ignorant agenda of prejudice.”

    Hopefully you can wake up and smell your own bullshit someday. Though, I doubt it. 🙂


    Comment by A | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Communication requires that both parties listen and are allowed the opportunity to be heard. This special interest group comes with a list of demands and heckles the speaker who traveled far to accept the invitation to be heard.
      This is not a freedom of speech issue. This issue has exposed the ignorance that is often used as an excuse for violence by a group of thugs.

      Comment by Keith Pollan | May 25, 2010 | Reply

  7. Yudof’s UCB Chancellor Birgeneau Loss of Credibility, Trust
    The UCB budget gap has grown to $150 million, and still the Chancellor is spending money that isn’t there on expensive outside consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the “innovative thinking, expertise, and new knowledge” the consultants would bring.

    Does this mean that the faculty and management of a world-class research and teaching institution lack the knowledge, impartiality, innovation, and professionalism to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from interviewing faculty and the UCB management that hired them; yet solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor were doing the job HE was hired to do. Consultant fees would be far better spent on meeting the needs of students.

    There can be only one conclusion as to why creative solutions have not been forthcoming from the professionals within UCB: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility and the trust of the faculty as well as of the Academic Senate leadership that represents them. Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants’ recommendations – disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy – the underlying problem of lost credibility and trust will remain.

    Comment by moravecglobal | May 19, 2010 | Reply

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