The Jewish on Campus Ambassador Program approved a resolution outlining three recommendations to improve the Jewish student experience at the University of Notre Dame. These policies include adopting the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, instituting antisemitism training for faculty, staff, and students, and conducting a study of peer institutions to examine how practices can be implemented at Notre Dame. These are a few steps to improving the life of Jewish students on the Notre Dame campus that can also serve as a foundation for future action.
Notre Dame is arguably the world’s preeminent Catholic university. Its Catholic identity cannot be ignored when considering ways to improve the Jewish student experience. In fact, providing a safer space for Jewish students to celebrate their Jewish identity aligns with Notre Dame’s Catholic mission. The papal encyclical Nostra Aetate explains that “mutual understanding and respect” between Jews and Catholics are essential to the fulfillment of any Catholic’s spiritual journey. That goodwill isn’t possible unless Jewish students are accepted and embraced for their Jewish identity like other Notre Dame students.
As a student and Jewish advocate at Notre Dame, I can personally attest to the sincere efforts of the administration to improve the Jewish student experience. Many of these initiatives have been discussed before, and I look forward to integrating JOC into our efforts to improve our already fruitful dialogue and meaningful action.