Hillel Sends Security Manuals to College Campuses

Jewish student org's are distributing manuals on how to identify and protect security threats. Anti-Semitism on rise in college campuses.

Cynthia Blank ,

Students on campus
Students on campus
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Hillel International, the largest Jewish student organization in the world, distributed manuals last week to college students on how to identify and prevent security threats. 

Hillel sent copies of the student safety manual to various college and university campuses around the country. Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), a prominent national Jewish fraternity will also be distributing the manuals. 

The manual is 10-pages long and contains such common safety tips as walking in pairs after dark and approaching a door with key in hand. It also includes advice on how to report suspicious activity and/or packages to campus police.

More relevant for Jewish students, it offers hate-crime specific advice, including instructions to leave offensive anti-Semitic graffiti in place until authorities have to the chance to examine it, as well as steps to be alert when tensions blaze in the Middle East, particularly between Israelis and Palestinians.  

In the past year, anti-Israel campus group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which has a history of “harassing and intimidating Jewish students,” has been particularly aggressive. 

A pro-Israel student was physically and verbally assaulted by the group at Temple University. Additionally, SJP slipped mock eviction notices under the doors of students' dorm rooms in universities such as the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, and New York University, just to name a few. 

The manual was produced by a joint task force on campus security assembled by Hillel, the Jewish Federations of North America, and Secure Community Network (SCN), the security arm of national Jewish bodies. Members of the task force include officials from SCN, Hillel, and former and current officials of the Department of Homeland Security. 

The manual comes a little over a month after fourteen diverse organizations banded together to deliver a letter to more than 2,500 US colleges and universities urging such institutions to protect Jewish students on campus. 

Paul Goldenberg, SCN director, made a comment about increased vandalism of Jewish campus buildings in recent months, arguing that such buildings should be providing a safe environment.

Indeed, just a month ago, on the morning after Yom Kippur, Emory University's AEPi house was defaced by swastikas and other offensive graffiti spray-painted on the walls. A second set of swastikas was found on a fraternity house across the street. 

“Hillels should not become flashpoints for political events unfolding thousands of miles away,” Goldenberg said.