There are 37% of Jewish college students in the United States who report feeling compelled to hide their Jewish identity due to safety concerns, according to a new survey from Hillel International on Monday. This significant percentage underscores the growing challenges and fears experienced by Jewish students in the current academic environment, particularly following the October 7 Hamas attack.
Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, expressed deep concern about these findings. “The alarming trend of Jewish students feeling unsafe and needing to conceal their identity is a direct reflection of the increasing hostility and antisemitic incidents on campuses,” Lehman stated in a press release. He emphasized the urgent need for university administrations to actively address these issues and provide a safer environment for Jewish students.
The emotional toll of the war
Further findings of the survey include a substantial 84% of Jewish students say the situation in Israel and Gaza affects them emotionally, with many reporting feelings of sadness and fear. In addition, one in three Jewish students reported witnessing or experiencing acts of hate or violence against Jews on campus, with a majority dissatisfied with their university’s response to these incidents.
In response to these challenges, Hillel International said it has stepped up its efforts to support Jewish students. The organization is organizing solidarity events, enhancing campus security, offering mental health resources, and creating safe spaces for students to express and celebrate their Jewish identity.
This survey was conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group for Hillel International.