update deskSchools & Higher Education

Harvard attempts to dismiss lawsuit filed by Jewish students

Its lawyers offered a range of “tangible steps” that the school had taken to counter Jew-hatred.

Closeup of the Latin inscription at the top right of the Class of 1857 Gate (Wadsworth Gate) to Harvard Yard, the oldest part of the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Tada Images/Shutterstock.
Closeup of the Latin inscription at the top right of the Class of 1857 Gate (Wadsworth Gate) to Harvard Yard, the oldest part of the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Mass. Credit: Tada Images/Shutterstock.

A 38-page filing from Harvard University’s legal team argues that the school has worked to combat campus antisemitism, thus a lawsuit alleging the failure to do so should be dismissed. 

Harvard filed its answer on April 12 to a suit brought by Shabbos (“Alexander”) Kestenbaum and five other Jewish student plaintiffs charging that the school had “become a bastion of rampant anti-Jewish hatred and harassment.”

Its lawyers countered that “without minimizing at all the importance of the need to address energetically antisemitism at the university, plaintiffs’ dissatisfaction with the strategy and speed of Harvard’s essential work does not state a legally cognizable claim.”

The motion presented a range of “tangible steps” the school had taken to counter Jew-hatred.

Kestenbaum responded to the filing on Saturday, saying “Harvard’s meritless motion to dismiss our lawsuit only proves our point: It has never taken the concerns of us Jewish students seriously and has no plans to start now.”

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