Lakewood resident Ralph Zucker, the founder of Inspired by Somerset Development has suspended his longstanding relationship with the Rutgers Center for Real Estate, a division of the Rutgers University Business School, due to the disturbing rise in on antisemitism on the university’s campus.
The move by Zucker, who has a daughter who graduated from Rutgers Law School and has hired Rutgers students as interns and graduates as staffers over the years, comes amid public backlash due to a pro-Palestinian speech on campus last week by whom New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer described as “two well-known antisemites.”
Earlier today, Rutgers University suspended the Students for Justice in Palestine group, due to “multiple complaints” against the organization alleging they disrupted classes, a program, meals and students studying, as well as possible vandalism.
And on Monday, the U.S. Department of Education announced they have opened an ethnic discrimination investigation into the University, although they did not specify the nature of the investigation.
Schools that receive federal funds must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that bars discrimination based on shared ancestry, ethnic characteristics or national origin. Failure to comply can result in the loss of federal funds.
“Hate has no place in our schools, period. When students are targeted because they are — or are perceived to be — Jewish, Muslim, Arab, Sikh, or any other ethnicity or shared ancestry, schools must act to ensure safe and inclusive educational environments where everyone is free to learn,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement.
Also on Monday, the University announced that a “chancellor advisory group” will be created to address “the rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia on the New Brunswick campus.”