(JNS.org) More than 80 students from nearly 70 campuses will be in Boston, Ma. August 7-10 as part of a high-level training conference hosted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) geared towards preparing students to respond to campus anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activism.
"Students are coming from as far away as England, Scotland and Canada to attend our training program," Aviva Slomich, CAMERA's international campus director, said in a statement. "This in itself shows that campus anti-Zionism is a global problem, affecting many students."
The CAMERA conference comes at a critical time for Jewish and pro-Israel students. A recent report by the AMCHA Initiative found an “alarming spike in campus anti-Semitism” during the first half of 2016.
“Nearly 100 more incidents of antisemitism occurred on campus during the first six months of 2016 compared with the 1st six months of 2015,” according to the AMCHA Initiative’s mid-year study.
Anti-Semitic activity “was twice as likely to occur on campuses where BDS [the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign] was present, eight times more likely to occur on campuses with at least one active anti-Zionist student group such as SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine], and six times more likely to occur on campuses with one or more faculty boycotters,” the report noted.
"Unfortunately, last year we faced an upsurge in extreme anti-Israel activity," said Itay Hashmonay, a student at the University of South Florida. "We're at CAMERA's conference to learn skills, arguments and strategies to address this effectively."
Students at the conference are expected to hear from a wide-range of pro-Israel experts as well as attend breakout sessions, interactive workshops and presentations geared towards helping them prepare for the upcoming year on campus.