Nearly three-quarters of Jewish college students in the U.S. experienced or witnessed antisemitism on their campus since the start of the academic year, according to a new survey released by the Anti-Defamation League, an advocacy group that has been tracking anti-Jewish incidents amid the Israel-Hamas war.
The new poll, released jointly by the ADL and the Jewish outreach organization Hillel International, found that 73% of Jewish college students and 44% of non-Jewish students experienced or saw antisemitic incidents since the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, ranging from antisemitic vandalism to threats of physical violence.
The war between Israel and Hamas militants has stoked tensions on campuses nationwide, with Jewish and Muslim students describing concerns about hate speech, harassment and threats. The ADL and a leading Muslim advocacy group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, both reported a rise in bias incidents after the war broke out.
In recent weeks, campuses have confronted the specter of violence against Jewish students. Federal officials charged a Cornell University student for making antisemitic threats in an online forum, for example, while the University of Pennsylvania alerted the FBI to a series of “vile, disturbing antisemitic emails” that threatened violence against the campus Jewish community.
Palestinian, Muslim and Arab students have also described an increasingly hostile climate on campuses, including a rise in people maliciously spreading their personal information online, a practice known as doxxing. Authorities opened a hate crime investigation after a hit-and-run at Stanford University that left an Arab Muslim student hospitalized.
The ADL surveyed 3,084 college students in the U.S., 527 of them Jewish, from 689 campuses across the country. The group conducted the survey in two waves, the first from July 26 to Aug. 30; the second roughly a month after the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel, from Nov. 6 to 10. The group said about 70% of respondents from the first wave participated in the second survey.
“No student should feel threatened or intimidated on campus. No student should feel the need to hide their religious or cultural identities. No parent should ever have to wonder whether it’s safe to send their kids to certain schools — but that’s the sad reality for American Jews today,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, said in a statement accompanying the study.
The survey found that prior to the Oct. 7 assault, 67% of Jewish students reported that they felt “physically safe” on campus, whereas after the terror attack, only 46% said as much. In the first survey, 66% of Jewish students felt “emotionally safe,” whereas only 33% said that in the second survey, according to the ADL report.
In the first survey, 65% of Jewish students viewed their university as welcoming and supportive of Jewish students, whereas only 44% said they felt that way after Oct. 7. Likewise, 64% of Jewish survey respondents felt comfortable with others knowing they’re Jewish before the terror attack, while only 39% said that in the second survey.