College campus (illustrative)
College campus (illustrative)iStock

A new study by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) found that over a third of Jewish students reported feeling unsafe or uncomfortable on college campuses in the United States, specifically at events.

More than a third of Jewish students also said they avoided wearing or carrying items that identified them as Jewish, or had trouble taking time off for Jewish holidays.

The findings, part of the fourth AJC State of Antisemitism in America report released Monday, were part of an overall study of how Jews and non-Jews in America look at antisemitism and how it impacts society.

“Like every student, those who are Jewish must be made to feel like they belong on a college campus and are welcome,” AJC CEO Ted Deutch said. “On too many campuses, this is not the case. Universities and colleges must live up to their obligation to make their Jewish students feel safe and welcome.”

The survey queried 350 current or former students (who had been in school in the last two years) or parents of current or former students.

Key findings also included 21 percent avoiding wearing or carrying visibly Jewish items; 18 percent feeling unsafe on campus due to their Jewish identity; and 36 percent avoiding being visibly Jewish or experiencing unease due to being Jewish on campus at least once in the past year.

Jewish students also reported feeling excluded from campus life for being pro-Israel, with 14 percent saying that they had recently been left out of an event or group for their support for Israel.

“Fear and intimidation cannot be part of the college experience for Jewish students,” said Meggie Wyschogrod Fredman, senior director of the AJC Alexander Young Leadership Department. “More colleges and universities need to acknowledge this and ensure their campus environment allows Jewish students to continue to feel safe and welcome.”