More Than Half of Jewish College Students Report Antisemitism on Campus

JNS.org - More than half of Jewish college students surveyed in a new national study said they have been subjected to or have witnessed antisemitism on their campuses.

The National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students—jointly conducted by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law (LDB)—found that among 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 campuses nationwide, 54 percent reported instances of antisemitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year.

The survey revealed that high rates of antisemitism extended beyond both schools with a history of that sentiment and students such as Orthodox Jewish men, who are more easily identifiable as Jewish.

“The patterns and high rates of antisemitism that were reported were surprising,” said Dr. Barry Kosmin, a professor of public policy at Trinity College. “Rather than being localized to a few campuses or restricted to politically active or religious students, this problem is widespread. Jewish students are subjected to both traditional prejudice and the new political antisemitism.”

Additionally, the survey found that female students are more likely than males to report antisemitism.

“We hear frequently from college students who find that their experiences of antisemitism are not taken seriously,” said Kenneth L. Marcus, LDB’s president and former head of the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. “A decade ago, Jewish college students spoke of the vindication that they felt when the US Civil Rights Commission gave voice to their concerns. … This report should provide a similar vindication, since it indicates that the scope of this problem is greater than most observers had realized.”