New report by StopAntisemitism indicates rise of antisemitism in higher education



Mia Gindis, Opinions Editor

A new report published by StopAntisemitism, a national watchdog organization dedicated to exposing antisemitic behavior, graded 25 colleges and universities across the United States on their effectiveness at mitigating and responding to Jew hatred on their respective campuses.

Out of the 25 schools analyzed, seven received an F, including one CUNY and two Ivy Leagues.

“Jewish parents have been reaching out to StopAntisemitism to find out which colleges and universities are safe for their students to attend, asking troubling questions such as: Where can their Jewish students feel comfortable wearing a Star of David necklace or a kipah?” Liora Rez, executive director of StopAntisemitism, told the Jewish News Syndicate.

In July, the American Center for Law and Justice filed a Title VI complaint to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights against CUNY in response to a series of antisemitic offenses across its campuses.

The complaint resulted in a retraction of $50,000 in funding which had been set aside for the school. A hearing regarding the matter had to be postponed after CUNY Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez was unable to attend.

55% of respondents indicated that they’ve been a victim of antisemitism on campus, while 72% reported feeling as if their school administration does not take antisemitism or the safety of Jewish students seriously.

The report does not indicate the total number of respondents surveyed. In response to The Ticker’s request for comment, StopAntisemitism elaborated that the number was in the hundreds.

In a survey distributed by The Ticker to 21 Jewish students attending Baruch, 85% of respondents report having never experienced antisemitism on campus.

Additionally, 81% felt no need to hide their Jewish identity on campus.

“There is a strong Jewish identity at Baruch, and it is not discouraged in any way,” Nikita Erastov, a freshman at Baruch said. “The Hillel is also allowed to celebrate Jewish holidays at the campus. For example, they recently set up their sukkah on the balcony on the 8th floor.”

The report was released in response to anti-Semitic incidents reaching an all-time high in the United States, with a total of 2,717 incidents of harassment, assault and vandalism reported last year alone.

“Discrimination targeting Jewish students for their religious identity or for their support of the Jewish State of Israel is not taken as seriously as discriminatory acts against other marginalized groups,” StopAntisemitism said in the report.

The organization sent surveys to the administrations, collected hundreds of first-person student narratives and did extensive research on the included schools, which were separated into four categories: Ivy League schools, state schools, liberal arts schoolsand public and private schools with the highest population of Jewish students.

Each campus surveyed received an online questionnaire from StopAntisemitism which inquired about their formal procedures for handling antisemitic behaviors, the breadth of their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and if the school has or intends to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism.

Additionally, Jewish students were asked if their school was accommodating to their religious and cultural needs.

The report then assigned each school a letter grade, from A through F, based on how it scored within each criterion.

Yale Columbia University, Brooklyn College and NYU all earned Fs.

The report described a Title VI complaint filed at Brooklyn College in February, which alleged that some professors were reciting antisemitic rhetoric to their students, including references to Jewish power.

Additionally, one Brooklyn College student sent a message expressing her desire to strangle a Jewish student in a WhatsApp group chat and was met with support.

The StopAntisemitism report was published around the same time CUNY announced that it was partnering with Hillel International to participate in its national Campus Climate Initiative.

CCI works with campuses to help facilitate a welcoming campus climate in which Jewish students can feel safe and comfortable expressing their religious identity.

CUNY’s collaboration with Hillel is just one facet of a long-term plan designed to address antisemitism.

The plan also entails incorporating antisemitism in DEI initiatives and campus-based trainings, developing a webpage to facilitate reporting discriminatory behaviors and allocating $750,000 in funding for programs that counter antisemitism.

“We have remained vigilant and unequivocal in our intolerance of antisemitism, yet we know more needs to be done globally and locally to combat antisemitism and bigotry in all forms,” Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said.