Study: 75% of North American Jewish college students report anti-Semitism

A swastika that was spray-painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) Jewish fraternity house at University of California, Davis earlier this year. Credit: YouTube screenshot.

( Nearly three-quarters of Jewish college students in North America have experienced some form of anti-Semitism during the past year, a new study has found. 

In the study—conducted by Brandeis University’s Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and titled “Antisemitism and the College Campus: Perceptions and Realities”—nearly 75 percent of respondents reported being exposed to “at least one of six anti-Semitic statements, including the claims that Jews have too much power and that Israelis behave.”

The study, which was based on the responses of 3,199 students to an online questionnaire of those eligible for the free Taglit-Birthright Israel trips to the Jewish state, also found that more than 25 percent of students find a “fairly” or “very big” problem of hostility towards Israel on campus, while another 25 percent reported being blamed for the actions of Israel because they are Jewish.

A student’s connection to Israel, according to the the study, is “the strongest predictor of perceiving a hostile environment toward Israel and Jews on campus and, to a lesser extent, of personal experiences of anti-Semitic verbal harassment.”

While there were no systematic differences among universities in average rates of anti-Semitism, the study found that “Canadian universities, schools in the California state system, and, to a lesser extent, large land-grant universities in the Midwest” were “over-represented among those schools with the highest average levels of hostility toward Israel.”

Posted on July 28, 2015 .