ADL, Hillel work together to document antisemitism on university campuses – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on August 9, 2021

Over the last year, Jewish college students took it upon themselves to combat antisemitism at their schools. Now, two major Jewish organizations are working together to play a stronger role in fighting antisemitism on campus.

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Hillel and the ADL will together create a college-level curriculum on antisemitism and jointly document antisemitic incidents on campuses in the United States. But not every student government resolution endorsing the movement to Boycott, Divest from and Sanction Israel, known as BDS, will wind up in the groups database.

Anti-Israel activism in and of itself is not antisemitism, an ADL spokesperson told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Situations vary widely with BDS, we will carefully evaluate each one and make a determination based on our criteria for antisemitism.

For example, the ADL spokesperson told JTA, a BDS resolution alone would not count as antisemitism, but if a student was excluded from the debate because he or she was Jewish, then it might be counted.

The Hillel-ADL partnership, which will begin in the coming academic year, follows a spike in reported antisemitic incidents on campus. In the school year that ended in 2021, the ADL tallied 244 antisemitic incidents on campuses nationwide, an increase from 181 the previous school year. Hillel has a presence on more than 550 campuses and says it serves more than 400,000 students.

Accusations of antisemitism on campus have received significant attention from large Jewish organizations for years. Some Jewish leaders have long said anti-Zionist activity on campus constitutes antisemitism, especially as a string of student governments endorsed BDS.

In addition, the ADL has documented white supremacist propaganda campaigns on campuses nationwide.

Multiple national groups have filed complaints with the Department of Educations Office of Civil Rights based on campus antisemitism allegations. In 2019, president Donald Trump signed an executive order mandating robust enforcement of civil rights protections for Jews on campus and including some anti-Israel activity in the definition of antisemitism. Pro-Palestinian activists said the order would have a chilling effect on free speech on campus.

The ADL and Hillel International plan to develop a curriculum about the history of antisemitism and how it manifests currently. They will also survey schools nationwide to provide a better picture of the state of antisemitism on campus, and will create a dedicated system to tally incidents of antisemitism at colleges and universities, including a portal for students to report incidents confidentially.

The ADL said its partnership with Hillel would complement student activism and that the group will firmly support well-meaning student-led efforts to push back against antisemitism on campus.

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ADL, Hillel work together to document antisemitism on university campuses - The Jerusalem Post

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