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ANOTHER JEWISH STUDENT SLAMS MAJOR LAWSUIT AGAINST RUTGERS, SAYS IT'S "OPEN SEASON ON JEWISH STUDENTS"



A Jewish freshman at Rutgers University whose face was displayed on Pro-Palestinian fliers that were posted outside a dorm room and throughout Demarest Hall has just filed a lawsuit against the university charging discrimination and hostile school environment.


This is the second lawsuit slammed in Superior Court against the school alleging that it has been hostile to Jewish students since protests of the Israel-Hamas war heightened tensions at the school.


The new legal action was filed by Rivka Schafer, a Rutgers-New Brunswick freshman who is Jewish and identifies as LGBTQ+.


With 6,000 Jewish students, Rutgers has the second-largest Jewish student body in the nation, according to court papers. The 48-page suit paints a toxic picture of campus life for the Jewish students.


Schafer, who uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” said they were the victim of several antisemitic attacks at the state university over the last several months.


The latest incident was at the pro-Palestinian encampment on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus last week, when Schafer said a protester said, “Hitler would have loved you.”


“Rivka Schafer is the latest victim of antisemitism on college campuses, and in particular at Rutgers, where it is open season on Jewish students,” the lawsuit said.


Schafer alleges the first antisemitic attack against them occurred last fall, a week the Israel-Hamas war began. The freshman was left “shaking” after a dorm meeting where another student allegedly expressed “appreciation that there was a large death toll in Israel” in the first days of the war.


In March, students allegedly posted a flyer mocking Schafer throughout their residence hall.


The flyer included a photo of Schafer holding a “Hot Girls Support Irael” sign, with Israel misspelled. The flyer also included the words “Free Palestine” and “Free Gaza,” alongside a message urging students to vote “yes” in an upcoming student referendum calling for Rutgers to divest from companies that support Israel.


Schafer was terrified after leaving their dorm room and seeing the flyer hanging throughout the building, the lawsuit said.


“The message to Rivka and Jewish students was clear — ‘Don’t Support Israel — we know where you sleep,’” Schafer’s attorney said in a press release announcing the lawsuit.


Rutgers police charged two Rutgers–New Brunswick undergraduates with harassment following the incident, the lawsuit said.


A referendum, passed by Rutgers students in March, asked the institution to divest its endowment funds from organizations that “profit from, engage in, or contribute to the government of Israel’s human rights violations.” The referendum also called on Rutgers to end its partnership with Tel Aviv University in Israel.


The vote led to the rise of antisemitism on campus, the lawsuit claims.


After a protester taunted Schafer and made the remark about Hitler at the campus pro-Palestinian encampment last week, the freshman filed a student conduct complaint against the protester, the lawsuit said. University officials have allegedly not addressed the complaint yet.


Protesters on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus ended their pro-Palestinian encampment May 2 after campus officials agreed to eight of their 10 demands. Rutgers did not agree to divest funds from companies tied to Israel or to cut ties with Tel Aviv University. But, the school agreed to other demands by Palestinian supporters, including a cultural center, more staff trainings and course offerings.


According to the lawsuit, Schafer and other students planned to host an end-of-the-semester “celebratory barbecue” on May 3 on the New Brunswick campus to “peacefully show Zionist pride,” but they were told by Rutgers officials they could not hold the event.


A pro-Palestinian encampment is continuing on the Rutgers-Newark campus, where a 31-year-old law student was arrested last week after posting counter-protest flyers on a tree that read “Stand with Israel, Stand with America” and “Hamas are dirty savages.” He is facing disorderly conduct charges.


Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway has been called to testify before a Congressional committee later this month about how he handled the pro-Palestinian encampment on New Brunswick campus. The school has also been criticized for agreeing to demands from the pro-Palestinian protesters while allegedly not responding to requests from Jewish students.


Ackerman is represented by Attorneys Cory J. Rothbort, David A. Mazie, and David M. Estes Esq. of Roseland-based Mazie Slater Katz and Freeman, LLC.


This is 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.


This suit was filed in Superior Court in Middlesex County. The first suit, which was filed by Yoel Ackerman, was filed in Essex County. As recently reported here on FAA News, Mr. Ackerman just received a court order majorly supporting his case.


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