As many campuses deal with anti-Israel protests and encampments, Jewish students may feel uneasy and even unsafe. Your safety and ability to learn are critically important, as is your ability to be openly and proudly Jewish on campus. The following are some guidelines to help you manage this challenging moment.

What to do if there are anti-Israel protests and/or encampments on your campus:

  • First of all, prioritize your safety. Do not engage with protestors if the situation is volatile or potentially dangerous.
  • If you are comfortable and safe doing so, identify yourself proudly as a Jew/Zionist by wearing a Magen David (Jewish star), a kippah, hostage dog tags, or yellow ribbon, etc. 
  • Reach out to Hillel and other Jewish campus organizations to see if there are organized responses or gatherings.

What to do if you experience antisemitism on campus:

  • Report it: If you experience antisemitism, whether generally, or specifically at the hands of fellow students or faculty, make sure to report it (every single time). Universities need to know the extent of what Jewish students are experiencing. Every university should have an online portal for reporting discriminatory or harassing behavior. You likely received information about this during orientation; do a quick search on your university’s website to find it.
  • Specific issues with faculty: It is discriminatory and likely violates institutional policy if a faculty member or TA holds class in an encampment, offers extra credit to protestors, cancels class so people can participate in a protest, or engages in similar actions that threaten your safety, affect your grade, or inhibit your ability to learn. Such actions should be reported to the university, and potentially to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Education (DOE). You should also reach out to Hillel on your campus as they may have institutional memory about particular faculty members.
  • Find a safe space: If you feel unsafe and/or need to just talk to and be surrounded a Jewish community, reach out to any staff or organizations that serve Jewish students on campus. (See “Where to go” below.) 

Where to go: 

Having access to Jewish communities is so important at this moment. Jewish communal spaces provide a place where you can be joyfully and proudly Jewish, and physically comfortable at a time when you may be struggling with other spaces on campus. Campus Jewish communities are designed to be welcoming even to students who have never accessed them before. 

  • Hillel: Hillel buildings/offices on campus function as a Jewish home away from home. They are equipped to host Jewish students, help them explore their identity, and provide a physical and emotional safe haven. If you are not sure whether your campus has a Hillel or where it is, you can find that information here.
  • Chabad: Chabad on Campus is a global network of Chabad Lubavitch centers on college campuses. They offer a range of programs that engage Jewish students, foster Jewish identity and practice, and create community on campus. Chabad houses are typically run by a Chabad married couple, and can feel very welcoming and homey.
  • Jewish Greek Life: Jewish Greek Life provides a supportive and inclusive environment for Jewish students on college campuses, offering a sense of community, social networking, and opportunities for leadership development, community service, and religious observance. Fraternities (AEPi, ZBT, SAM, TEP) and Sororities (AEPhi, SDT, SAEPi) are common Jewish Greek organizations. Even if you aren’t a member of a Jewish Greek organization, you can reach out to them to see if their spaces are open to Jewish students who need a place to go.
  • If your campus does not have organized Jewish life, reach out to the nearest local Jewish organization that serves the Jewish community. (You can find a JCC near you here or a Jewish Federation near you here.)

Resources You Can Trust:

If you’re in need, please reach out! We can help you navigate what to do and where to turn: