(photo: Elan Kawesch/ The Times of Israel)

(photo: Elan Kawesch/ The Times of Israel)

By Matt Lebovic - March 31, 2015,

Originally appeared here in The Times of Israel 

BOSTON — Two months ago, Brandeis University senior Ryan Yuffe took special note of Martin Luther King Day on his campus, including the emotional involvement of students from many backgrounds

Having already been thinking about the growing tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, the 22-year-old organizer had an “activist’s epiphany,” as he told The Times of Israel.

“We should organize the same kind of thing on campus, but for European Jews,” Yuffe remembers thinking.

Flash forward to Monday night, when more than 100 Brandeis students attended a vigil in solidarity with European Jewry, as well as the creation of a Brandeis student-led movement to focus on battling anti-Semitism in Europe.

At the start of  the vigil outside Boston, 20 students read aloud the details of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe since the start of February, ranging from physical assaults to desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Simultaneous to the Brandeis gathering, vigils were held at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the University of Rochester in New York.

Soon after Yuffe’s Martin Luther King Day vision, he and nine other Brandeis undergraduates decided to focus efforts on holding European governments accountable for promises made to combat anti-Semitism. Vigils were one thing, but the students — who named themselves the Coalition Against Anti-Semitism in Europe (CAASE) — had even bigger plans in mind. Read More