American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO Ted Deutch today urged Columbia University President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik to “fulfill [her] stated commitment before Congress this week and act on [her] promise to confront antisemitism at Columbia” in a letter sent to the university president after days of escalating demonstrations following her congressional testimony. 

In addition to the university president, AJC is also appealing to city, state, and federal officials as the “atmosphere on campus has already spiraled past any reasonable measure of allowable political protest and risks devolving into the kind of violence that makes good on these activists’ terrifying promises.”

The letter was also sent to the Columbia Board of Trustees, Chairs of the Columbia Task Force on Antisemitism, members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, New York Attorney General Letitia James, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Police Commissioner Edward Caban, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Deutch emphasized that “[t]his is not the environment free of discrimination and harassment you championed before Congress and not an environment where Jewish students could possibly be free to learn, walk safely, or focus on their studies for the final weeks of the semester. It is an environment in which many Jews at Columbia feel vulnerable, targeted, and terrified as they prepare for the upcoming holiday of Passover, which begins tomorrow evening.” 

Beyond enforcing Columbia’s rules of conduct, AJC is also calling on President Shafik to “speak to the campus community and state clearly what disciplinary action has and will be taken against those who have broken the university’s rules” noting that “[t]hese protests have turned Columbia into a place where Jewish students have reason to fear for their safety and from which many are fleeing, actually fleeing, in fear.”

Full text of the letter sent to President Shafik can be found here.

Following the publication of the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism in May 2023, AJC created and distributed a series of guides to implement the strategy’s recommendations, and just this week released a new updated action plan for university administrators with recommendations about immediate, near-term, and long-term action steps administrators can take to create a durable blueprint for change, including enforcement of campus protest rules. AJC maintains that university leadership has a uniquely important role to play in addressing antisemitism and ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students, faculty, and staff.  


AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit