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New “scorecard” to help teens visiting universities

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that monitors and combats antisemitism at institutions of higher education in America has released a questionnaire for prospective parents and students to use when interviewing colleges and universities regarding the campus climate for Jewish students.

The questionnaire comes in the wake of the release of the 2015 National Survey of U.S. Jewish College Students by Trinity College and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law revealed that 54% of surveyed students reported instances of antisemitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year. In addition, the Antisemitism and College Campus Perceptions and Realities study released earlier this summer by Brandeis University found that three-quarters of North American Jewish college students were exposed to antisemitism and one-third of students surveyed report having been harassed. In addition, one-quarter of students in the Brandeis University study describe hostility toward Israel on campus as a “fairly” or “very big” problem and nearly one-quarter report having been blamed for Israel’s actions because they are Jewish.

“At the request of many parents over the past year, we have developed a questionnaire that will assist prospective students in assessing how safe or comfortable a school is for Jewish students,” says AMCHA Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin.  “The questions will also serve as a reminder to school administrators that prospective Jewish students and their families are influenced in their decision-making by the level of antisemitic/anti-Israel activity on campus.”

AMCHA leads a coalition of 32 groups that has been working with the University of California (UC) to adopt the U.S. State Department definition of antisemitism, which acknowledges that anti-Israel rhetoric can cross the line into antisemitism.

To see the full questionnaire, visit amchainitiative.org.

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