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Poll: More than a third of Jewish students hide their identity at college

Hillel International found fear, sadness among surveyed undergraduates.

A pro-Palestinian rally in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 10, 2023. Credit: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.
A pro-Palestinian rally in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 10, 2023. Credit: Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

New research shows the extent to which the war provoked by Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack has spilled over to university campuses.

Hillel International commissioned the Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) to poll 300 Jewish college students between Nov. 14-15.

They found that a broad majority—84%—said the war was affecting them, with 68% describing themselves as sad and 54% as scared.

Statistics on Jewish students feeling a need to hide their identity (37%) correlate closely with those saying they know about acts of hate or violence on their campus (35%).

“The hate that fueled Hamas’s attack on Israel has rapidly spread to college campuses, leaving Jewish students feeling both unsupported and unsafe,” said Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International. “The data show that it’s getting worse.”

Lehman noted that “when Jewish students need to feel safe, supported and protected by university presidents and administrations more than they ever have before, Hillel International is working day and night to ensure universities are taking concrete actions to protect Jewish communities on campuses.”

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