Campus antisemitism driving Jewish families to reject schools: Survey

Campus antisemitism is driving most Jewish families to eliminate at least one college from consideration, according to a new survey, after increased tensions since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

Sixty-four percent of prospective Jewish students have taken at least one school out of consideration, according to the poll from Jewish campus organization Hillel International, with 96% of survey respondents citing concerns about campus antisemitism and 80% citing campus safety as factors in their college decision-making.

Likewise, 87% of parents of Jewish high schoolers said rising antisemitism is affecting college choices.

“These findings confirm what we’ve consistently heard from Jewish parents since October 7: They are alarmed by the dramatic rise in antisemitism on campus, and they and their students are changing their approach to the college decision-making process because of it,” Hillel president and CEO Adam Lehman said in a press release.

Hillel claims 1,215 antisemitic incidents have happened since Oct. 7, which it says is a 700% increase from last year during the same time period.

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Campus antisemitism has become a hot-button issue since Oct. 7, especially given the ousters of two prominent university presidents following controversial congressional testimony about antisemitism. Both former Harvard University president Claudine Gay and former University of Pennsylvania president Elizabeth Magill resigned in the wake of testimony that critics said did not take antisemitic incidents on their campuses seriously.

The House Education and Workforce Committee has also opened numerous investigations into universities to probe responses to pro-Palestinian protests on their campuses, as well as other incidents such as intimidating and shouting down speakers.

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