New advocacy group compiles data on US campus anti-Semitism

Compilation of anti-Semitic campus incidents gives insights into the surge of campus anti-Semitism experienced by Jewish students.

Dan Verbin ,

The University of Southern California campus
The University of Southern California campus
ISTOCK

Jewish student advocacy group Jews on Campus (JOC) has published a report highlighting the rise of anti-Semitic incidents across American college campuses.

Compiled from hundreds of submissions to JOC, the Initial Data Report recaps “initial insights” from 1,097 incidents of harassment, bullying and assault in JOC’s database.

“While a useful start for data analysis, the following analysis will also provoke further questions that should be explored by the University Team,” JOC wrote.

The report ranked the top five states for campus reports of anti-Semitism. New York had 210, California had 102, Massachusetts had 86, Illinois had 68 and Pennsylvania had 48.

“While this trend reflects the significant number of universities and sizeable Jewish population in states like New York and California, it also suggests that JOC can conduct more outreach to rural states such as Nebraska and Mississippi for reports of anti-Semitism. Likely, these findings suggest that JOC has not reached Jewish students studying in these states, and not that anti-Semitism is absent at universities in these states,” said the report.

Universities with over 15 incidents of anti-Semitism were also compiled into a chart, with the number for Tufts University in Massachusetts likely underrepresented due to a significant number of incidents occurring on its campus not reported directly through JOC’s form.

Of the nine problematic college’s listed, New York University had the greatest number of incidents at 30, followed by George Washington University (25), Cornell (24) and Depaul (24).

“These nine schools are each plagued with a persistent anti-Semitism problem which JOC can uniquely address through its data and prior experience with Tufts. New York University, between its sizable Jewish population, urban location, and preference by the JOC team, may be a prime candidate for the next university JOC approaches. In the future, the procedure used at Tufts and NYU can be replicated at other schools listed above,” said the report.

College campuses were also analyzed based on categories such as historical anti-Semitism, bullying, demonization of Israel, genocidal expression, denying Jews self-determination, and destruction of Jewish property.

Based on the results of their analysis, JOC found that 48 percent of incidents reported through their form could be classified as “historical anti-Semitism,” 31 percent as “bullying,” and “22 percent as “demonization of Israel.”

“These three categories provide three important focuses for JOC’s University Team to adopt in conversations with administrators—the use of historical anti-Semitic tropes on campus, the tormenting of Jewish students for their religious identity or real or perceived affiliation with Zionism, and the unfair, slanderous attacks of Israel,” the group concluded.



top