New York, NY, August 2, 2021 … Hillel International, the largest Jewish student organization in the world, and ADL (Anti-Defamation League), a leading anti-hate organization fighting antisemitism and all forms of hate, are joining forces to work collaboratively on several initiatives starting in the new academic year to proactively address the disturbing rise in antisemitic activity on campus through new educational programs and assessments of the climate on campus for Jewish students.
The new initiative will harness ADL’s deep expertise in tracking and responding to antisemitic incidents and Hillel’s vast network of professionals and programs on campus, reaching more than 400,000 Jewish students in North America and hundreds of thousands of Jewish students overseas. Working together, ADL and Hillel will grow their education and engagement of the full campus community – including students, faculty, university staff and administrators – with quality curricula, programming and research, and will collaborate in responding to antisemitic incidents when they occur.
“Jewish college students are increasingly subjected to antisemitism today, both on campus and on social media, and are urgently seeking support and tools to effectively respond,” said Adam Lehman, President and CEO of Hillel International. “Bringing together ADL’s expertise and Hillel’s deep relationships on campus, we can empower Jewish students to speak out against hate and educate the broader campus community to ensure antisemitism is not tolerated at colleges and universities.”
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem on campus, and many Jewish students are not fully equipped to respond when they encounter hate in the university environment,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt ADL CEO and National Director. “Hillel International and ADL are both committed to ensuring all Jewish students feel safe on campus and are able to live and study in environments free of harassment and antisemitism.”
During the 2020-2021 academic year, Hillel International counted a total of 244 antisemitic incidents on college and university campuses, according to preliminary data. This compares to the 181 antisemitic incidents reported during the 2019-2020 academic year, when most classes were still taking place in person.
ADL and Hillel International will collaborate on several new initiatives:
- Curriculum development: Developing training on the history of antisemitism and how it manifests on campus today for Hillel professionals and students on campus, so they can better identify and respond to antisemitic activity.
- Research: Working through Hillel’s Campus Climate Initiative, surveying campuses nationwide to assess the campus climate for Jewish students across the United States, with results likely available in early fall.
- Incident Reporting: Hillel, ADL and the Secure Community Network, the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America, will work to create a single reporting mechanism that can help ensure students receive the support they need when they encounter antisemitism on campus and to ensure that antisemitic incidents at universities are appropriately tracked in a centralized database.
- Never is Now Summit: Hillel International will be a co-sponsor of ADL’s annual Never is Now Summit on Antisemitism and Hate, which will be held virtually this year Nov. 7-9, to address antisemitism on campus and engage college students and parents, university administrators and high school students and parents with program and sessions tailored to their concerns.
About Hillel International
Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path.