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Jewish Identity and Civil Rights in America


  • Page extent: 224 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.47 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 973/.04924
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: E184.36.E84 M37 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Jews--United States--Identity
    • Jews--Civil rights--United States
    • Antisemitism--United States
    • United States--Ethnic relations

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521766739)

Given jurisdiction over race and national origin but not religion, federal agents have had to determine whether Jewish Americans constitute a race or national origin group. They have been unable to do so. This has led to enforcement paralysis, as well as explosive internal confrontations and recriminations within the federal government. This book examines the legal and policy issues behind the ambiguity involved with civil rights protections for Jewish students. Written by a former senior government official, this book reveals the extent of this problem and presents a workable legal solution.

• Was the first full-length treatment of the legal and policy challenges arising from resurgent campus anti-Semitism • Was the first published account of explosive confrontations among federal civil rights officials • Unique insights by the former director of the US Commission on Civil Rights and head of the federal Office for Civil Rights


1. The dilemma of Jewish difference; 2. The Jewish question in civil rights enforcement; 3. The nature of the new campus anti-Semitism; 4. Criticisms; 5. First Amendment issues; 6. Misunderstanding Jews and Jew-hatred; 7. Institutional resistance; 8. The originalist approach; 9. Scientific theories; 10. Social perception; 11. The subjective approach; 12. Anti-Semitism as harm to racial identity.


'… will be of considerable help to scholars of legal decisions regarding 'whiteness' and discrimination. The review of decisions is very helpful, and his criticism of the various approaches to defining discrimination is balanced, cogent, and useful.' Patricia Roberts-Miller, Human Rights Review

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