NEW YORK — The first national study of campus antisemitism conducted by students themselves demonstrates that while hatred against Jews expressed online remains a significant problem, almost three-quarters of incidents took place in-person, with the remainder happening online.
Jewish On Campus (JOC), a grassroots organization founded to amplify the voices of Jewish students and combat antisemitism on campus, undertook the research to offer a unique source of information and perspective by restricting involvement in the work to students, who are both the source of the data and the authors of the report analyzing it.
JOC is an official partner of the World Jewish Congress.
The report also found a spike in student reports of antisemitic incidents both in January 2021, possibly related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and in May 2021, against the background of Israel’s conflict with Hamas.
However, while report submissions dipped after the January 2021 increase, the rate remained elevated after the Hamas conflict ended. Conservative and Orthodox Jews were overrepresented in the data as victims of antisemitism, most likely because they are more “identifiably” Jewish, wearing kipot or other traditional attire, the report’s authors concluded.
The study is drawn from 544 reports submitted online to JOC from 11 countries, 41 U.S. states and 228 universities worldwide. A team of student statisticians analyzed the data to yield insights about demographics, location and ideology.
“Antisemitism on campus is a crisis that must be immediately addressed,” said Jewish on Campus CEO Julia Jassey. “To do so, we need a clear understanding of the issue. This report takes a year of data submitted to Jewish on Campus by hundreds of students around the world and compiles it to give a robust understanding of what antisemitism truly looks like on campus.”
Key findings of the study: Of the 544 reports, 241 were characterized by historical antisemitism, while the next largest group — 191 — evinced demonization of Israel. In 73 of the incidents, the reporting students described a denial of self-determination, while 22 incidents involved a condoning of terrorism.
“This report has the potential to motivate widespread, data-informed change on college campuses,” said JOC data scientist Jacob Blum. “With the help of these statistics, it will only be easier for JOC to continue to make college campuses everywhere a safe space for Jewish students."
Jewish on Campus’ 2021 Annual Antisemitism Report can be found here.
Michal Cohen, chief marketing officer, Jewish on Campus