Over 70% of US Jewish college students exposed to antisemitism this school year, survey finds

Nov 29, 2023

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nearly three in four Jewish college students in the United States who responded to a survey said they have experienced or witnessed antisemitism during the current school year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said on Wednesday.

The finding comes amid rising tensions at some U.S. college campuses over the Israel-Hamas war and a proliferation of protests in support of either Israel or the Palestinians.

Some 73% of over 500 Jewish college students surveyed said they were exposed to antisemitism since the 2023-2024 school year started, the ADL, which fights antisemitism and other forms of discrimination, said. The survey also showed that the percentage of Jewish students who said they feel comfortable with others on campus knowing they are Jewish dropped to 38.6% since Oct. 7 from 63.7% before that date.

Incidents cited by the survey respondents ranged from antisemitic vandalism on campuses to threats of violence and assault, the ADL said.

Antisemitic incidents in the United States rose by about 400% in the first two weeks after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing about 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostage, the ADL said last month.

Another anti-discrimination group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), had said that complaints of incidents motivated by Islamophobia and bias against Palestinians and Arabs had almost tripled last year’s average in the first two weeks after the war began.

The U.S. Justice Department has said it is monitoring rising threats against Jews and Muslims and President Joe Biden has condemned antisemitism and Islamophobia.

For the data released on Wednesday, the ADL and Jewish outreach organization Hillel International surveyed more than 3,000 American college students, of which 527 were Jewish, from 689 campuses nationwide.

The survey was conducted in two waves, one from July 26 to Aug. 30, and then from Nov. 6 to Nov. 10.

After weeks of bombardment from Israel following the Oct. 7 attack, much of the northern part of Hamas-ruled Gaza has been reduced to rubble with more than 15,000 people dead, according to health officials there.


(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Berkrot)


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