United States / 05-04-2017

AMCHA 2016 annual study

Source: The Amcha Initiative

Antisemitism on campus increased 40% and genocidal expression doubled in 2016, according to AMCHA Initiative’s just released annual study, which examines antisemitism at more than 100 public and private colleges and universities with the largest Jewish undergraduate populations.


Main findings of the study include:


40% Spike: Antisemitism on campuses most popular for Jewish students continued to rise, increasing 40% in 2016.


Hotspots: While antisemitic incidents increased, the total number of schools affected by campus antisemitism did not, indicating that a select number of schools experienced surges in antisemitic activity.  Columbia, Vassar, New York University, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Minnesota and Ohio State University had the largest increases in 2016. All seven of these schools also played host to divisive votes in their student senates on anti-Israel divestment resolutions.


BDS Linked to Anti-Jewish Hostility: Continuing the trend we found in our previous studies, in 2016, BDS activity, the presence of BDS-promoting student groups and faculty who endorse an academic boycott of Israel were all very strong predictors of acts that targeted Jewish students for harm, including harassment, destruction of property, discrimination and suppression of speech.


Doubling of Genocidal Expression: Antisemitic genocidal expression, mostly consisting of swastikas and graffiti, signs, posters and letters that call for the killing of Jews, doubled from 2015 to 2016.  Examples include, “Kill all Kikes,” “GAS JEWS DIE,” “Gas the Kikes,” “Death to Israel and to all Jews,” and “Holocaust 2.0.”


Antisemitism at the Epicenter of Campus Intolerance: Many of the incidents of anti-Jewish genocidal expression also targeted students from other campus groups – eg. Immigrants, students of color, LGBTQ students, students of different political opinions or ideologies – suggesting a troubling increase in universally intolerant, hateful behavior.


In the current climate of increasing polarization and acts of extreme intolerance, we believe that Jewish students, and all students, will be best served when university administrators treat antisemitism and other acts of bigotry as forms of intolerant behavior that must be addressed with a single behavioral standard applied equitably to all forms of intolerance.


In our report, we detail six recommendations for university administrators to implement to reduce intolerance and promote free expression for all students on their campuses.


See the full report