Countering Antisemitism on Campus

Hailey Behrman

As the world’s largest Jewish college organization, Hillel International takes a leading role in countering antisemitism on college campuses worldwide. We work with students, campus professionals, Jewish communal and higher education leaders, and leading anti-hate organizations to proactively address antisemitic activity on campus and in online spaces through a wide variety of initiatives and programs. Our work to counter antisemitism on campus aims to empower Jewish students to speak out against hate and to educate broader campus communities and allies to ensure antisemitism is not tolerated at colleges and universities.

Campus Climate Initiative

Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative (CCI) works collaboratively with higher education administrators and university presidents to ensure a positive campus climate in which Jewish students feel comfortable expressing their identity and values, free of antisemitism, harassment, or marginalization. The CCI model involves partnership between the college or university administration, the local Hillel, and the CCI team. It is based on the premise that key administrative leaders play an essential role in effecting broad-based educational and policy change on campus, and that the university-Hillel partnership can lead toward positive changes that will benefit both Jewish students and all students.

Read more about the Campus Climate Initiative Here.

Orange and blue text saying Reporting Antisemitic Incidents

In 2021, Hillel International partnered with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Secure Community Network to launch, an online portal that allows Jewish students, college students, and allies to report antisemitic incidents on college campuses and receive immediate support. All incidents reported through are reviewed by a trained security professional, who supports students in the incident response process and connects them with the campus Hillel to address the issue with university administrators and law enforcement, as appropriate. Students who leave their contact information are also connected to tools and resources to improve campus climate, as well as wellness services. Incidents can be reported anonymously if desired to safeguard a student's identity.

Read more about here.

Antisemitism Curriculum Development

Hillel is at the forefront of developing best-in-class training on countering antisemitism for college students and staff, in partnership with expert organizations like ADL. Launched in 2021, Hillel International’s signature “Understanding Antisemitism on Campus” Curriculum is a video-based curriculum designed to educate Hillel professionals and student leaders about the history and context of past and present manifestations of antisemitism, and help staff feel well-equipped to identify, respond to and proactively educate others about antisemitism.

Read more about Hillel’s work to address antisemitism on campus through education.

The University Presidents Summit

In April 2022, Hillel International and the American Jewish Committee (AJC), in collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE), brought together college and university leaders from across the United States for a two-day summit on the unprecedented increase in antisemitic activity and the marginalization of Jewish students on campus. The summit will give university administrators the tools and resources they need to speak out against antisemitism and take specific steps to make campuses safer. Participants will explore meaningful ways in which institutions can respond to antisemitism within the context of fulfilling their overarching diversity, equity, and inclusion mission to combat all forms of racism, bigotry, discrimination, and harassment on campus, while respecting principles of academic freedom and free speech.

Read more about the University Presidents Summit here.

Hannah Litt holding up a Jewish star with an Instagram post caption next to herStudent Empowerment

Hillel International works day in and day out to empower Jewish college students and their allies to call out and resist antisemitism. In October, 2021, Hillel launched the #OwnYourStar campaign to counter hate with Jewish pride, encouraging students to stand up against antisemitism on their college campuses, online, and beyond. #OwnYourStar encourages students to post on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok about what the Star of David, or other Jewish symbols, mean to them using the hashtag #OwnYourStar.

Learn more about the #OwnYourStar campaign here.

Industry-Leading Research

In 2021, Hillel partnered with ADL on a nationally representative survey of Jewish college students in the U.S. The survey, conducted by online survey and analytics company College Pulse, found that antisemitism is a looming and present threat for Jewish college students, with one in three students personally experiencing antisemitic hate directed at them in the 2020-2021 academic year. The survey also found that most students who experienced antisemitic activity on campus did not report it, suggesting the frequency of incidents on campus is larger than previously thought.

Read more about the survey results and Hillel’s research here.