Kasowitz Files Lawsuit Against Harvard University Alleging Egregious Civil Rights Violations for Its Antisemitic Hostile Educational Environment
Kasowitz Benson Torres, on behalf of several Jewish students at Harvard, has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against Harvard University, alleging that Harvard is egregiously violating the civil rights of its Jewish students, who are subjected to a severe and pervasive antisemitic hostile educational environment, which has worsened since the October 7 Hamas murder, rape, and kidnapping of 1,200 Israelis. The plaintiffs are an individual Jewish student enrolled at Harvard Divinity School and Students Against Antisemitism, Inc. (SAA), whose Jewish members include students at Harvard Law School.
In their complaint, plaintiffs allege that Harvard’s tolerance and enabling of antisemitism permit students and faculty to harass, intimidate, and assault Jewish students, disrupt classes and other campus activities with continual antisemitic demonstrations calling for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel, the sole Jewish country in the world, and that Harvard’s response to antisemitic discrimination and harassment reflects an egregious double standard by which it treats Jewish students as unworthy of the protections it readily affords non-Jewish students.
The complaint alleges claims under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief requiring Harvard to implement institutional, far-reaching, and concrete remedial measures, including disciplinary measures against deans, administrators, professors, and other employees responsible for antisemitic abuse, whether because they engage in it or permit it; against students who engage in such conduct; declining and returning any donations, whether from foreign countries or elsewhere, conditioned on the hiring or promotion of professors who espouse antisemitism or the inclusion of antisemitic coursework or curricula; and requiring antisemitism training for Harvard community members.
The Kasowitz Benson Torres team representing the Harvard University students is led by partners Marc E. Kasowitz, Daniel R. Benson, Mark P. Ressler and Andrew L. Schwartz, and includes associates Joshua E. Roberts, Andrew C. Bernstein, Emily A. Lowe, Zachary Josephs, and William Wolfe Taub.