Poll: Majority of Jewish College Students Feel 'Unsafe' on Campus

50 percent report hiding their Jewish identity

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September 20, 2021

More than 65 percent of Jewish students on America's college campuses report feeling unsafe, and around 50 percent say they have hidden their religious identity to avoid physical or verbal attacks, according to a recent poll.

A rising number of Jewish students feel unsafe on college campuses as anti-Israel and anti-Zionist organizations mount increasing attacks on the Jewish state and its supporters, according to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, an advocacy organization that conducted the first-ever poll to examine the rates of anti-Semitism faced by Jewish college students.

"Students are feeling unsafe and, as a result, are learning that to avoid anti-Semitism they must view their religion as something to hide, not celebrate," the group said in a press release announcing the findings. "In fact, the survey indicates that the longer students stay on campus, the less safe they feel and the more they feel the need to hide their identity."

Anti-Semitism has skyrocketed on college campuses in recent years as a result of a coordinated push by organizations that are opposed to the Jewish state and any support for it on college campuses. Jewish students have been verbally and physically attacked on campuses across the country and now report they are being forced to hide their Jewish identity to avoid these incidents.

The poll, based on a survey that included 1,027 members of Alpha Epsilon Phi, the nation's leading Jewish fraternity, found that nearly 70 percent of respondents "personally experienced or were familiar with an anti-Semitic attack in the past 120 days."

The findings "ring some pretty consequential alarms, more closely resembling previous dark periods in our history, not the 21st century in the U.S.," said Brandeis Center founder and chairman Kenneth L. Marcus, a former secretary of education for civil rights. "They reveal that students for whom being Jewish is a central or important aspect of their identity are feeling increasingly unsafe visibly expressing their Judaism for fear of harassment, social bullying and other anti-Semitic attacks. And they expose that increased anti-Semitic acts, which attempt to hold Jews responsible as a collective, for the actions of the Israeli government, are driving more and more students to hide their support for Israel."