Jewish on Campus and World Jewish Congress (WJC) have announced a joint partnership to support Jewish students and combat antisemitism on college campuses, which is reportedly rising, both organizations stated on Tuesday.
“College campuses should be a place that allows for the free expression of thought and exploration of ideas, not a breeding ground for hatred and antisemitism,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder on the World Jewish Congress website.
WJC is partnering with @JewishonCampus_ to help students lead the fight against antisemitism on campus.In this critical moment, we must take a stand against the rise of #antisemitism, and act to protect the Jewish community.Read about the partnership: https://t.co/ktnKndIppN pic.twitter.com/1KafRDTkef— WJC (@WorldJewishCong) October 26, 2021
Antisemitism has been frequent on college campuses, as a recent study concluded that 43% of Jewish students on American college campuses have personally experienced antisemitism or witnessed antisemitic activity. Last month, another report came out stating that half of Jewish college students have hidden their religious identity.
However, Jewish on Campus, a non-profit organization that began last year as an Instagram page, wrote on Twitter that the partnership "will work to create strong academic programming, advocate for student protection under the Civil Rights Act, and form a representative body of Jewish students through our Ambassador Program."
Both organizations will also support Jewish student communities outside the United States.
For as long as I can remember, students have been asking for a seat at the table; to be an active part of making change.Today, that dream comes to life.I am proud to announce a joint partnership between Jewish on Campus and the World Jewish Congress.https://t.co/XhjCEO8IDW— Julia Jassey (@juliajassey) October 26, 2021
Co-founder and CEO of Jewish on Campus, Julia Jassey, stated: "One thing that we hope to do is have more of an international focus. Jewish on Campus is really thankful to the World Jewish Congress and Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder for giving us this opportunity because it's one that students often don't have.
"My hope for Jewish on Campus is that we will be an organization that students know about on campus," Jassey continued.
This collaboration is part of WJC's NextGen Inc., a program that works with next-generation leaders to ensure Jewish people worldwide are supported and united in fighting against bigotry, according to their website.
A recent example of antisemitism at a college campus included participants at a rally hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Massachusetts, where an attendant recorded on video spitting and physically assaulting a journalist who was deemed a "Zionist," according to the Louis D. Brandeis Center.
The incident took place in June at the Anti-Defamation League’s New England Regional Office in Boston. The journalist in question was called a Nazi solely on his perceived identity as a Zionist. The harassment lasted for a reported seven minutes.
The incident violates UMass' Student Code of Conduct, according to the report, and that the university is required to investigate students who violate the code. The Brandeis Center warned that no action taken would indicate that “students and student organizations are free to intimidate, harass, and assault individuals who attend their events, based on such individuals’ perceived support of Israel.”
The university has yet to do anything about the incident.
Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.