The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns the death of Dr. Gary A. Tobin, a scholar, researcher and educator on current issues of concern to the Jewish community, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in American schools and on college campuses. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Dr. Tobin died late Monday at age 59.
Dr. Tobin was the president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research in San Francisco. For 14 years, he was the Director of the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University.
Among his many publications is The Uncivil University: Politics and Propaganda in American Education, in which Dr. Tobin reported on the results of his comprehensive research on anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in American education. Dr. Tobin found that anti-Semitism exists at both public and private universities in all regions of the country, at both Ivy League schools and community colleges. He called for educating the campus community about anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, and urged colleges and universities to address the problem by speaking out against anti-Semitic bigotry, reviewing academic departments to ensure that they are upholding honest scholarship and teaching, and protecting Jewish and pro-Israel students from harassment and intimidation.
Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the Director of the ZOAs Center for Law and Justice, said, I had the privilege of testifying with Dr. Tobin at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing on campus anti-Semitism in November 2005. Garys clear and comprehensive testimony, and the substantial evidence of campus anti-Semitism that he documented and submitted, were crucial to the landmark conclusions that the Commission issued, including that anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism can be manifestations of anti-Semitism and that university leaders and the government must exercise their leadership and authority in combating the problem, which affects Jewish students on campuses across the country. I have relied on Garys research in doing my work on behalf of the ZOA and Gary himself was always a helpful resource. It was an honor to know and work with him.
Morton A. Klein, the ZOAs National President, also praised Dr. Tobin: Dr. Tobins passing is a loss to the Jewish community and everyone who cares about prejudice and bigotry in our schools, colleges and universities. We at the ZOA send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.