Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Jewish Students Feel Wide Anti-Semitism, Online Study Says

Most Jewish undergraduates have encountered anti-Israel and/or anti-Semitic attitudes on campus, but they have not diminished their feelings of connection to Israel, a new study about anti-Semitism at North American universities found

According to the Brandeis University study released Tuesday, a few schools, among them Canadian universities and schools in the California state system, have “particularly high levels of hostility toward Jews or Israel.”

The online survey of over 3,000 North American college students who have applied for a Birthright Israel trip — but have not yet taken the 10-day journey — found that one-third of respondents reported having been verbally harassed during the past year because they were Jewish. Nearly three-quarters said they had been exposed to at least one of six anti-Semitic statements, including the claims that Jews have too much power and that Israelis behave “like Nazis” toward the Palestinians.

More than one-quarter of respondents described hostility toward Israel by their campus peers as a “fairly” or “very big” problem, while nearly 15 percent reported the same level of hostility toward Jews.

The study, which was conducted in April by the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis, also found that nearly one-quarter of respondents reported “having been blamed during the past year for the actions of Israel because they were Jewish.”

Despite viewing their campuses as hostile to Israel, two-thirds of students said they felt connected to Israel, levels that “are higher than those found among similar individuals in 2014, before the Israel-Hamas conflict,” the study found. The feeling of connectedness did not mean the students followed Israeli news: Less than a quarter said they had followed news of the Israeli elections, and respondents “appear to have a low level of knowledge and/or few firm convictions about Israeli politics.”

The study comes five months after an online survey of 1,157 American Jewish students conducted by Trinity College professors reported that 54 percent had witnessed or experienced an anti-Semitic incident on campus. That study was conducted a year earlier, in the spring of 2014.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.