(August 31, 2021, JNS Wire) New York City, New York — Today, Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), America’s unified alumni voice on issues of antisemitism, demonization of Israel, and bigotry, released the findings of a survey of Jewish college students and recent alums on campus antisemitism, conducted between March 25 and June 14, 2021.
The survey results, compiled into a comprehensive report, include shocking findings collected from 506 respondents comprised of 312 enrolled students and 194 alumni of varying Jewish affiliations from across the country, including:
- Nearly 100% of respondents said antisemitism is/was a problem on their campus, with current students more likely to call it a “major” problem and grads a “minor” one.
- 95% of respondents identified antisemitism as a problem on U.S. college campuses, with three out of four describing it as a “very serious problem.”
- 79% of respondents had experienced or heard firsthand about another student making offensive or threatening antisemitic comments in person.
- 69% of students and grads say they have avoided certain places, events, or situations at school because they are Jewish.
- More than half of the respondents received or heard firsthand offensive or threatening antisemitic comments from faculty or university employees.
- 44% of respondents had experienced or heard firsthand about being physically threatened because they identify as Jewish.
- Nearly half of current students say antisemitism is getting worse on their campus.
“These findings illuminate the troubling reality on U.S. campuses—antisemitism is increasingly a pernicious threat, with Jewish students under siege,” ACF Executive Director Avi D. Gordon said.
“Today’s universities take great pains to embrace and protect students from all races, religions, and backgrounds. But Jewish students are often left to fend for themselves against discrimination. Administrators must take immediate steps to remedy this situation, and alumni should work with administrators, students, and allies alike to rid their alma maters of hate,” Gordon added.
Survey respondents shared first-hand experiences with campus antisemitism. Personal anecdotes include cavalier Holocaust comparisons, Jewish stereotyping, and common antisemitic tropes, with administrative negligence consistently cited.
“I had a professor make a horribly offensive analogy about the Holocaust. When I told her it was offensive, she gaslit me and said if I was so sensitive, I should find another career,” one student wrote, adding, “there has been rising anti-Israel activity on-campus. At the same time, we have found swastikas and hate-speech from alt-right groups on campus.”
Another common concern expressed by respondents is that campus antisemitism is only getting worse.
“UConn has experienced seven antisemitic incidents in the year and three during Passover alone. Each act has gotten bigger and bolder, and the students have become frightened,” one student reported.
ACF’s report, A Growing Threat: Antisemitism on College Campuses, provides recommendations to stem the growth of antisemitism and create a safer environment for Jewish students. The report calls on University administrators to make concerted efforts to understand the challenges facing Jewish students, promptly respond to antisemitic incidents, and adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. In addition, the report urges Jewish students and alumni to work together to proactively create campuses free of bigotry.
ACF partnered with Kivvit to develop the survey and worked with Jewish on Campus to recruit respondents.
About ACF: Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF) is America’s unified alumni voice on issues of antisemitism, demonization of Israel, and bigotry. With over forty chapters and more than 10,000 members, ACF positions thousands of alumni on the front lines of key issues at their alma maters. For more information, please visit www.campusfairness.org.
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Click here to view the full report, A Growing Threat: Antisemitism on College Campuses