Anti-Semitism on U.S. College Campuses

The data presented in this report support the reported rise in and effect of campus antisemitism post-10/7. The findings are also emblematic of an issue that has been festering on college campuses for much longer. Universities across the country would do well to heed these results and devise meaningful solutions to ensure that all students, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, are given an equal opportunity to maximize their college education and experience.

Executive Summary
To better understand the current state of the campus climate for Jewish students, the ADL Center for Antisemitism Research (CAR), Hillel International, and College Pulse conducted a longitudinal survey of American college students before and after the Hamas terror attacks on October 7, 2023. The topline results, presented in this report, highlight concerning trends that underscore the urgent need to protect Jewish students on campus and foster an inclusive and safe educational environment for all.

Jewish students are experiencing a wave of antisemitism, and non-Jewish students are much less likely to see it.
73% of Jewish college students surveyed have experienced or witnessed some form of antisemitism since the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year alone. By comparison, 43.9% of non-Jewish students reported the same during that period. Prior to this school year, 70% of Jewish college students experienced at least some form of antisemitism throughout their entire college experience.

Of the non-Jewish students erroneously assumed to be Jewish, nearly half (46%) stated that they had been targeted based on their assumed Jewishness.
26% of students assumed to be Jewish by others reported being on the receiving end of offensive anti-Jewish remarks, compared to 8.7% of those not assumed to be Jewish. Since 10/7, the proportion of non-Jewish students assumed to be Jewish has increased from 7.2% to 12.7%. Of this group, 29.5% reported being the targets of offensive anti-Jewish remarks.

Since October 7, the percentage of Jewish students who said they feel comfortable with others on campus knowing they are Jewish dropped by nearly half.
Since October 7th, students who have felt comfortable with others knowing they’re Jewish decreased significantly. 63.7% of Jewish students pre-October 7th felt “very” or “extremely” comfortable but now only 38.6% feel the same.

A majority of all students — Jewish and non-Jewish — feel like their campus administration has not done enough to address anti-Jewish prejudice at their universities, with 70 percent of students saying their university should do more to address the issue.
When asked who should do more to address the issue, most students (48.2% of Jewish students and 38.5% of non-Jewish students) placed the onus on campus administrators.

More than a third of Jewish students said they felt uncomfortable speaking about their views of Israel, and roughly the same proportion said they feel uncomfortable speaking out against antisemitism.
Nearly a third (31.9%) of Jewish students indicated that they have felt unable to speak out about campus antisemitism, while only 17.6% of non-Jewish students felt the same. 29.8% of Jewish students said that they would be uncomfortable with others on campus knowing about their views of Israel, compared to only 13.9% of non-Jewish students. After 10/7, these numbers increased to 38.3% and 18.9%, respectively.

A plurality of Jewish students do not feel physically safe on campus.
Prior to 10/7, two-thirds (66.6%) of Jewish students said they felt “very” or “extremely” physically safe on campus, compared to less than half (45.5%) post-10/7. Feelings of emotional safety among Jewish students changed even more dramatically – two-thirds (65.8%) of Jewish students said they felt “very” or “extremely” emotionally safe before 10/7, which fell to a third (32.5%) after 10/7.

Not knowing what to do and concern about potential backlash prevents students from reporting anti-Jewish incidents on campus, but even more so for Jewish students.
Of the 55% of Jewish students who reported doing nothing in response to an antisemitic incident, a large proportion reported fear of backlash as their reason for not responding. Of the Jewish students who had been the target of problematic anti-Jewish comments, for example, 14.8% said they did not respond due to fear that the perpetrator would target them again.

While a majority of university students have undergone DEI training, only 18% of those students have received any training about antisemitism.
55.8% of students surveyed said they had previously completed DEI training, but only 18.1% of those who had indicated previous DEI training said that they had completed any training specific to anti-Jewish prejudice. Though DEI programs have become increasingly common on campus, such programs remain limited in scope.

It is difficult to overstate the concerning findings revealed by this study. Over the past few years, several research projects focusing on Jewish experiences on college campuses have pointed to a growing problem, including ADL’s 2021 survey of students from over 1,000 colleges nationwide that observed an increase in antisemitism on campus. Within the 2020-2021 academic year, nearly one-third of Jewish students personally experienced antisemitism, most commonly offensive comments or slurs online or in person. 31 percent of Jewish students witnessed antisemitic activity that was not directed at them, such as antisemitic symbols, logos, and posters.

We now know the problem has gotten far worse. Majorities of Jewish students at colleges are experiencing antisemitism during their years on campus, uncomfortable with their campus communities knowing that they’re Jewish, and a plurality are afraid of a backlash from those communities if they report an issue. Campus antisemitism has far-reaching implications, the scope of which extends beyond the context of current events.

This study demonstrates not just the impact of antisemitism on students but also the systemic failures of campus administration. We hope this study makes it clear that ignoring or gaslighting students experiencing antisemitism substantively contributes to an unsafe campus climate. The breadth of the problem requires a broad and comprehensive response, and addressing this scourge requires real action from campus organizations, faculty, campus administrations, residential life, and campus security.