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Antisemitism on campus experienced by 50% of Jewish college students

A new study also reveals that nearly a third of Jewish undergraduates witnessed bigotry on their campus.

College campus. Credit: An Nguyen/Shutterstock.
College campus. Credit: An Nguyen/Shutterstock.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) and Jewish on Campus partnered to produce the largest-ever survey of student perspectives on antisemitism, conspiracy theories and Holocaust awareness. 

The study included 2,020 collegians from the general population and 1,022 identifying as Jewish for a total of 3,042. Of the Jewish students, 29% had seen or experienced an antisemitic incident on campus, while 44% had outside of school. A total of 57% of Jewish students had seen or experienced antisemitism.

The different types of antisemitism students experienced and the percentage reporting them include microaggressions (72%,) hate speech (50%,) vandalism (48%,) the spread of conspiracy theories (43%) and calls for death or genocide against Jews (21%.)

Regarding the seriousness of antisemitism, 84% of Jewish students saw it as an “extreme threat” or “somewhat of a threat” to America, while 64% of non-Jewish students did.

On the history of oppression against Jews, 60% of college students did not know about institutional antisemitism in America against Jews, such as neighborhood restrictions and university quotas, while 15% found the death toll of the Holocaust either “not very believable,” “not at all believable” or felt “unsure.”

Julia Jassey, co-founder and CEO of Jewish on Campus, said the report “underscores the urgency of our mission to elevate the voices and experiences of Jewish students.”

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said the survey results show “concrete evidence that not enough is being done by school administrators and government officials to protect Jewish students from hate.” 

“It’s clear that something is very wrong with our education system when more than 50% of Jewish students in America have observed an antisemitic incident,” he said.

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