Photo Credit: Hillel’s website screenshot
Jewish students’ response to antisemitic demonstrations.

A new poll from Hillel International, published on Monday, measures Jewish student experiences as commencements begin across America (Majority of Jewish College Students Say They Feel Less Safe Due to Encampments; 61% Report Antisemitism During Campus Protests).

A majority of Jewish university students report feeling unsafe due to anti-Israel protests and protest encampments on their campuses. These students say the protests often involve antisemitic, threatening, or derogatory language directed at Jewish students. As graduation season arrives, most Jewish students worry that protests and encampments could disrupt commencement ceremonies. Nearly 75% want their schools to remove these protests and encampments to prevent any disruptions to their graduations. The environment surrounding Israel’s war on Hamas has created an atmosphere of insecurity for a sizable portion of the Jewish student population.

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The new survey was conducted for Hillel International, which has a presence on more than 850 campuses worldwide. Hillel has tracked close to 1,600 incidents of campus antisemitism since October 7 alone, including assaults, vandalism, and hate speech, with more than 400 of those incidents targeting individual students. In a single week, a Hillel-led petition has garnered close to 30,000 signatures demanding that university administrators do more to support their students and safeguard commencement ceremonies.

  • 61% of Jewish students say there has been antisemitic, threatening, or derogatory language toward Jewish people during protests at their school
  • 63% of Jewish students feel less safe because of the protests and 58% feel less safe because of the encampments
  • 72% want schools to remove the encampments and/or protesters to eliminate the possibility of disruption to commencement or graduation
  • 40% have felt the need to hide their Jewish identity from others on campus

The survey was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group from May 6 to May 8 and included 15-minute interviews with 310 Jewish students. The margin of error is 5%. 

The full topline data can be viewed here.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.