54% of American College Students Experience Anti-Semitism

More than half of current American Jewish college students have personally witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident, according to a new study.

Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in the survey released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year. The survey was taken in the spring of 2014, prior to the outbreak of hostilities last summer in Gaza.

The online survey of 1,157 students, conducted by Trinity College Professor Barry Kosmin and Associate Professor Ariela Keysar, found that percentages of students reporting encounters with anti-Semitism were relatively consistent across gender, religious outlook, and geographical region.

Students who affiliate with the Conservative and Reform movements were more likely to report such experiences than Orthodox students, with 69 percent of Conservative students, 62 percent of Reform students and 52 percent of Orthodox students responding that they had reported anti-Semitic encounters.

Those who said they were always open about their Jewishness on campus were roughly as likely to have encountered anti-Semitism as those who said they were never open about their Jewishness, at 58 percent and 59 percent respectively.

The data in the report came from the 2014 National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students as part of a broader series of questions. The students who took the surveys were volunteers, and the study’s authors found that the students roughly matched the broader demographic outlines of other surveys of Jewish college students. What constituted an anti-Semitic incident was self-defined by the participants.

The findings were broadly consistent with a 2011 survey of college students in the United Kingdom, in which 51percent of students reported experiencing or witnessing an anti-Semitic incident.

Author

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

54% of American College Students Experience Anti-Semitism

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close