SPME and AAJLJ Inaugural Law Deans’ Mission to Israel

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PHILADELPHIA – May 30, 2013 Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) are pleased to announce their inaugural Law Deans to Israel mission.  The mission will  take place from June 1st –June 8th , with law deans attending from the following schools: Rutgers University, University of Michigan, Widener University, Florida International University, UCLA School of Law, Loyola University Chicago, The Chicago-Kent College of Law of the Illinois Institute of Technology  , and University of Missouri.

Both organizations are dedicated to fostering and strengthening academic ties between the U.S. and Israel, something we believe is critical to combating the growing anti-Israel/anti-Semitic sentiment found on many campuses throughout North America. “This mission will underscore the Israeli democracy at its best, while showcasing its fair and just legal system,” said Richard L. Cravatts, SPME’s president. 

Some of the main highlights of the trip include a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the Hon. Daniel B. Shapiro; a meeting with Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. from Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center – a civil rights non-governmental organization that combats terrorist organizations through lawsuits brought on behalf of victims of terror; a dinner reception hosted by SPME board member Prof. David Menashri, President of the College of Law and Business; Ramat Gan, featuring Law Deans from leading Israeli Universities; members of the Israeli Judiciary; and leading members of the Israeli Bar.

Overall, this mission will attempt to provide a deeper understanding of Israel and its surrounding neighborhood through its religious, political, economic, social, and geographical dimensions, all while gaining an appreciation for why Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.

“Further,” said Alyza Lewin President of the AAJLJ, “it is our hope that by meeting and interacting with their Israeli counterparts, the law deans will build relationships that will lead to academic exchanges between their respective law schools and Israeli ones.”

For further information please contact Asaf Romirowsky at Aromirowsky@spme.org or Alyza Lewin at alyza@lewinlewin.com

About The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (“AAJLJ”)

The American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (“AAJLJ”) was founded in 1983 and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (“IAJLJ”).  The IAJLJ was founded in 1969 by the late Justice Arthur J. Goldberg of the United States Supreme Court and the late Justice Haim Cohen of the Supreme Court of Israel.  The AAJLJ represents the American Jewish legal community, defending Jewish interests and human rights in the United Statesand abroad. 

The AAJLJ is a non-profit association that is open to all. Through its members, the AAJLJ provides legal support to safeguard human rights.  In addition, the AAJLJ works to combat those who utilize “lawfare” to delegitimize Israel.  AAJLJ efforts include filing amicus briefs in cases relating to the right of an American citizen born in Jerusalem to have “Israel” listed as his/her place of birth on their U.S. passport, the unlawful nationalization of Jewish property in Arab countries, the immunity of foreign government officials from civil lawsuits, the recovery of damages under federal anti-terrorism laws from those who finance terrorism, and the constitutionality of the death penalty.

The AAJLJ seeks to promote an understanding of the principles of traditional Jewish Law among members of the bar, the judiciary, and the public.  AAJLJ programs address the relevance and applicability of Jewish Law to current legal issues such as human rights, national security, free speech and religious liberty. Further, the AAJLJ promotes the study of law and ethics through law school courses, seminars and publications such as The Tribunal. It also assists the IAJLJ in utilizing its official international status as a United Nations Nongovernmental Organization to provide diplomatic and legal assistance to Jews and others around the world.

SPME and AAJLJ Inaugural Law Deans’ Mission to Israel

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Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit [501 (C) (3)], grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.

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