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June 30, 2021 4:11 pm

Student-Led Jewish Advocacy Group Shares Data on Hundreds of Campus Experiences With Antisemitism

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

A New York University (NYU) building near Washington Square Park. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

An advocacy group that began as an Instagram account collecting anonymous experiences from Jewish college students released a new report documenting antisemitic harassment and bullying on college campuses across the US.

Released Tuesday, the Jewish on Campus’ (JOC) 2020 Data Report discussed 1,097 anonymous submissions of antisemitic incidents reported to JOC through a form on its website.

The report included a list of the 15 colleges and universities with the most reported incidents of antisemitism, as well as a map highlighting states with the most incidents on their campuses, while noting that trends were partly driven by where large Jewish student populations were located.

“Over the past several months, the Jewish on Campus University Team has labored arduously to process hundreds of submissions of antisemitism collected on the JOC’s form,” the group said.

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It said these were most frequently reported by students at New York University (30), George Washington and University (25), Rutgers University (20), and Tufts University (19). Other students whose experiences were recorded attended Cornell University (24 submissions), Depaul University (24), Tufts University (19), and Columbia University (17).

The data report also included a chart categorizing episodes of antisemitism based on definitions by AMCHA, a nonprofit that studies and advocates against antisemitism on college campuses.

Of the 1,097 incidents reported to JOC, 48% involved historical antisemitism, which AMCHA defines as “dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such, or the power of Jews as a collective-especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, governments, or other societal institutions.”

Another 56 incidents were categorized as involving the destruction of Jewish property.

“31% of incidents reported classify as ‘bullying’ and 22% qualify as demonization of Israel,” the report said, arguing that historical antisemitism, bullying, and demonization of Israel all include “the use of historical antisemitic tropes on campus, the tormenting of Jewish students for their religious identity or real or perceived affiliation with Zionism, and the unfair, slanderous attacks of Israel.”

The report also noted that “very few” incidents reported to JOC were linked to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, adding that “the most pressing harms seems to be outside of BDS activity.”

According to its website, Jewish On Campus began in July 2020 as an Instagram account raising awareness of antisemitism on college campuses. It aims to “revive pride in Judaism by emboldening a new generation for Jews through education, social media campaigning, and grassroots organizing.”

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