Executive Order on Combating Antisemitism at Penn State University Park

Executive Order 16

April 8th, 2021




By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution of the University Park Undergraduate Association, it is hereby ordered as follows: 


Section 1. Purpose. 

  1. Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is annually celebrated on April 8th. 

  2. Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States of America, as demonstrated by: data indicating that the year 2019 had the greatest number of antisemitic incidents in U.S history; events including the Charlottesville Rally in 2017 and the U.S. Capital Riots in 2021 which were heavily filled with openly antisemitic rhetoric, and; the 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

  3. Penn State is not immune to the disease of antisemitism. In 2019, the Daily Collegian released an article “History of Hatred: An in-depth look at antisemitism at Penn State” which documented the history of antisemitic events at Penn State, including 17 at Penn State between the years 2001 and 2018.

  4. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has adopted a working statement on antisemitism which reads as follows: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” This language, as well as several examples provided by the IHRA, are enclosed in Appendix A.


Sec 2. Policy. 

  1. The McKay-Pathickal Administration of the UPUA hereby adopts the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and stands in solidarity with Jewish students in the face of antisemitism.

  2. The UPUA Department of Outreach shall create and distribute resources about the Working Definition of Antisemitism, and continue to promote resources intended to support students in the wake of antisemitism, bias, and other forms of racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination. These resources shall also be made available on the UPUA website. 


Sec 3. Special acknowledgments. 

  1. Special acknowledgments are given to the following individuals for their contributions to this action for the betterment of student life at University Park:

    1. Jacob Klipstein, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy

    2. Jackie Stochel, President of Penn State Hillel




April 8, 2021.

APPENDIX A – Retrieved from: https://www.holocaustremembrance.com/resources/working-definitions-charters/working-definition-antisemitism


The Working Definition of Antisemitism

In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism. 


On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”


To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:


Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.


Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.

  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

  • Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).

  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.

  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.

  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

  • Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries).


Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.


Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.