J-FAS (Jewish Faculty, Administration, and Staff) is an organization that seeks to connect Jewish faculty, administrators, and staff members across Rutgers University to address issues of mutual interest and concern. The group provides a venue for Jewish academics and professionals to establish relationships, share research, and discuss opportunities and challenges facing the Rutgers Jewish community as a whole.
J-FAS (formerly the Jewish Faculty Forum) was established in the fall of 2016 and has since held monthly meetings on a variety of topics. Co-chairs Rebecca Cypess (Department of Music, Mason Gross School of the Arts) and Jenny Mandelbaum (Department of Communication, School of Communication and Information) set agendas for meetings and secure guest speakers from within or outside the Rutgers Jewish community.
In 2017–18, in response to a series of anti-Semitic events on the Rutgers campus, J-FAS crafted two petitions that garnered attention from the university administration and secured the group a place at the table in future discussions of the campus climate as it pertains to the experience of the Jewish community.
In 2018–19, emulating the process used at other institutons, we will build on our past work by coordinating an effort to craft a “Working Definition of Anti-Semitism By and For the Rutgers Jewish Community.” J-FAS will initiate this project, but we will work on it together with the Hillel staff and student leadership, and with the support of Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey. Our aim is to develop a clear set of guidelines that will help to direct the conversation and future responses to anti-Semitism on campus.
Faculty, staff, and administrators who wish to join the J-FAS mailing list or attend meetings are encouraged to contact