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National news sites have been buzzing this week with concerning reports of anti-semitic riots which are going on at various college campuses across the country, including at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

These anti-semitic riots, which continue to be a basis for fear among Jewish students, are being cloaked as mere "solidarity for Palestinian causes."

On the bright side, one frum law student - who is represented by one of only a handful of law firms across the United States named to the prestigious Plaintiffs Hot List, and the National Law Journal's Top 50 Plaintiff Law firms in the Country - will be appearing in court in the coming days seeking judicial support of his efforts to defend himself and fight back against the perpetrators.

Just months ago, in an amazing turn of events in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks last Simchas Torah, Yoel Ackerman, a 36-year-old New Jersey resident and father of three, and a first-year law student at Rutgers University found himself facing suspension or even expulsion from the school simply for objecting to being subject to antisemitism!

As previously reported here on FAA News, just days ahead of his expulsion hearing, Mr. Ackerman fought back by slamming the school with an explosive discrimination lawsuit charging school administrators with failing to act promptly to protect him from the hostile school environment, and in fact, helping his detractors push him out.

According to the complaint, filed in New Jersey Superior Court in Essex County:

Ackerman was in a group message with a law student who shared an "antisemitic, false video parroting Hamas’ propaganda and misinformation regarding its October 7th terrorist attack."

The video praised Hamas fighters and falsely claimed that no people were raped or killed at the music festival during the attack. 

The video was shared on October 12, when Hamas had called for a worldwide "day of rage" against Jews and others.

Law school administrators failed to act in a timely manner to protect him from the "hostile school environment" and instead said they permitted Ackerman to become the purported bully in the situation. 

Ackerman felt discriminated against, harassed, and intimidated by the sharing and endorsing of that false video, along with related comments defending the same.

Mr. Ackerman subsequently shared with other Jewish law students the messages that their Law School classmates were publicly spreading and endorsing concerning the antisemitic, false video relating to the October 7th terrorist attack.

These messages went around social media. 

Ultimately, his reporting of the video resulted in charges being brought against him.

The Rutgers Student Bar Association began proceedings to impeach Mr. Ackerman so as to remove him as a member of the Student Bar Association.

Their basis is by alleging that Ackerman was “doxing." Typically, doxing involves a person revealing the identity of a person who was anonymous online by circulating to the public the subject’s real name, home address, workplace, phone, financial accounts, criminal history, private photographs/videos, or other private embarrassing personal information without the subject’s permission, typically with malicious intent.

At no time did Ackerman access or disseminate the private identity or information of the law students who posted the videos; rather, he merely shared information that they chose to publicly share to members of the Rutgers community, including speech and their names and photographs attached to such speech. Mr. Ackerman did not “dox” anyone or do anything as a form of punishment or revenge, but rather as a matter of personal and collective safety.

Astoundingly, while Rutgers doubled down and filed charges against Yoel in an effort to suspend or even expel him from the school for objecting to being subject to antisemitism, at the same time they also dropped the complaints against the students who circulated the propaganda video!

Since the commencement of the litigation, Mr. Ackerman served a subpeona on the students involved in harassing him. The subpoena requires the students to produce their communication records during the period of the impeachment proceeding. The students - who are not named defendants in the litigation - have received counsel from Council on American-Islamic Relations, New Jersey Chapter (CAIR-NJ). This attorney has been protecting the students from responding to the subpoenas contending they are: “vague, overbroad, irrelevant, disproportionate and violative of our clients' First Amendment rights.”

Mr. Ackerman has now turned to the court seeking an order enforcing this subpoena. Attorneys representing CAIR have filed a cross-motion to quash the subpoenas. Additionally, attorneys representing Rutgers have filed a Motion seeking to dismiss the complaint.

Judge Stephen Petrillo has scheduled oral arguments on the matter this coming Tuesday morning. 

Ackerman is represented by Roseland Attorneys David A. Mazie and Cory J. Rothbort of Mazie Slater Katz and Freeman, LLC, and Voorhees Attorneys Eric G. Kahn and Heidi R. Weintraub of Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom and Sinis, P.C.

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