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August 2, 2021 8:48 am
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ADL, Hillel ‘Join Forces’ to Fight Campus Antisemitism With Tracking Tools, Curriculum

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Illustrative: The University of Pennsylvania campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

As more university students prepare to return to in-person learning this fall, an initiative announced Monday will bring the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) together with the world’s largest Jewish university organization to combat rising antisemitism on campus.

The partnership between ADL and Hillel, which serves over 400,000 students in the US, will include curricula about the history of antisemitism, and a fast-track system for responding to antisemitic incidents as they occur, tracking them in a centralized database.

On November 7-9, Hillel will also co-sponsor ADL’s Never is Now Summit, to take place virtually.

The ADL said Monday that during the 2020-2021 academic year — amid a year of virtual learning during the COVID-19 pandemic — it had counted 84 antisemitic incidents on college and university campuses, including one assault; 39 incidents of vandalism; and 44 incidents of harassment.

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The year prior, when most classes were still taking place in person, the group recorded 172 incidents.

ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said Jewish college students need better tools to respond to incident sof bias and harassment.

“Antisemitism remains a serious problem on campus, and many Jewish students are not fully equipped to respond when they encounter hate in the university environment,” he said.

“Hillel International and ADL are both committed to ensuring all Jewish students feel safe on campus and are able to live and study in environments free of harassment and antisemitism.”

Said Adam Lehman, President and CEO of Hillel International, “Jewish college students are increasingly subjected to antisemitism today, both on campus and on social media, and are urgently seeking support and tools to effectively respond.”

“[By] bringing together ADL’s expertise and Hillel’s deep relationships on campus,” he continued, “we can empower Jewish students to speak out against hate and educate the broader campus community, and ensure antisemitism is not tolerated at colleges and universities.”

Monday’s announcement came as the ADL issued a new report grading nine social media platforms on how they address antisemitic content online — finding that none do so effectively, often failing to respond when hate is reported. Twitter and YouTube earned the highest grades, at B-minus, while Facebook/Instagram and TikTok received grades of C-minus.

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