Sixty-four percent of Australian Jewish university students reported experiencing antisemitism during their academic journey, according to a new survey that was published on Monday.
One out of every five students has actively avoided campus to escape bigotry, while more than half have felt the distressing need to hide their Jewish identity, the survey said.
The survey, representing the experiences of roughly one out of every 14 Australian Jewish university students, was conducted by the Zionist Federation of Australia and backed by the Australian Union of Jewish Students and the World Zionist Organization.
“It is unconscionable that such a large fraction of Australia’s Jewish university students have felt the need to hide their identity,” Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler said, adding that he had pressed the Australian government for an immediate response and suggested the formation of “a working group to critically assess and determine the measures universities, as well as state and federal governments, should undertake in response to this unsettling situation.”
Australian Union of Jewish Students president Alissa Foster said: “The data corroborates what I witness on a day-to-day basis. Our universities have glaringly failed Jewish students, making many feel the need to conceal their identity.”
Survey finds reluctance among Jews to report antisemitic incidents
“This startling data will prompt decision-makers to introspect and act, ensuring that Jewish students receive the recognition, voice, and representation they deserve,” she said.
The survey highlighted a reluctance among Jewish students to report antisemitic incidents due to skepticism about universities’ responsiveness. Many indicated that having a concrete definition of antisemitism would encourage them to voice their concerns.
Racheli Baratz-Rix, head of the World Zionist Organization’s Department for Combating Antisemitism and Enhancing Resilience, said: “These numbers serve as a cautionary indicator. The escalating antisemitism in Australia is a harbinger, demanding immediate and holistic action to prevent graver repercussions.”