UCLA adds ‘Jewish’ artwork to school building, keeps donor’s collection in wake of BDS furor

Gabe Friedman

Warsaw painting

“Warsaw” by Robert Weingarten (Courtesy of Weingarten)

(JTA) — After a Jewish donor threatened to pull his art collection from UCLA over a BDS controversy involving a former student, one of the school’s buildings has added an artwork based on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.

David Pollock’s threat to pull over 20 pieces of his art collection from the business school came in the wake of the controversy surrounding Milan Chatterjee, a former UCLA law student who claims he was harassed by members of the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine group.

Instead of taking back his art collection, Pollock, a Los Angeles-based financial adviser, asked the Anderson School of Management to accept a new painting that made a “strong Jewish statement,” the Jewish Journal reported. Earlier this month, the school’s Cornell Hall hung “Warsaw,” a 2011 piece by artist Robert Weingarten that overlays images of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto on top of a current image of the Polish city.

Chatterjee was president of UCLA’s Graduate Student Association last fall when he tried to keep Students for Justice in Palestine, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, from receiving funding for a campus event. He said he was the target of an online smear campaign, and the school subsequently found in a report that he violated viewpoint neutrality policies. Hundreds of alumni signed a petition asking UCLA to rescind the report.

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Chatterjee left UCLA and is finishing his law degree at New York University.