ACE, AJC, Hillel, Collaborate on Summit to Combat Campus Antisemitism
April 15, 2022

​​Presidents and other campus leaders from more than 40 institutions came away from a two-day summit in New York City April 11-12 equipped with tools for combating campus antisemitism.

The University Presidents Summit on Campus Antisemitism was presented by Hillel Int​ernational and American Jewish Committee (AJC), in collaboration with ACE. As ACE President Ted Mitchell said in summit opening remarks, “We are here on a mission and that mission is to eradicate antisemitism. Our hope is that you will leave here equipped with strategies and tactics that you can customize to meet the needs of your own unique campus environment.”

The summit, held at the Center for Jewish History in New York, addressed what has been an alarming, unprecedented increase in antisemitic activity and the marginalization of Jewish students on campus. The campus leaders at the summit explored meaningful ways institutions can respond to antisemitism within the context of fulfilling their overarching diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) mission to combat all forms of racism, bigotry, discrimination, and harassment on campus while respecting principles of academic freedom and free speech.

Among the experts and public officials who participated in a dialogue with the assembled presidents and chancellors, as well as a number of chief diversity officers and other campus leaders, were AJC CEO David Harris, Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman, Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rachel Fish, co-founder of the think tank Boundless, and Matthew Bronfman, chair of the Hillel International Board of Governors and chair of the AJC Board of Trustees​.

“Our institutions espouse higher values: learning, critical thinking, and empathy,” said New York University President Andrew Hamilton, who hosted the summit. “Antisemitism stems from the opposite of these values, and it is our duty to confront it.”

Presidents were encouraged to consider adopting the “Three A’s” of confronting antisemitism:

Awareness: Show your awareness of campus antisemitism and name it as an essential element of your campus’s commitment to DEI.​

Allyship: Demonstrate solidarity with Jewish students, including: 

  • Modeling “tone at the top” attention and concern for Jewish students’ rights and needs together with those of other groups.
  • Issuing presidential statements condemning antisemitic incidents when they occur. 
  • Showing up in person at Jewish student events and celebrations.

Action: Which may include: 

  • Enhancing bias reporting policies and procedures.
  • Integrating antisemitism as a focus within DEI.
  • Including antisemitism in student trainings related to DEI, including first-year orientations.
  • Establishing a standing committee/task force to address campus antisemitism.
  • Fostering relationship building programs among diverse student religious and cultural groups.
  • Supporting varied academic perspectives and courses on antisemitism, Jewish history, Zionism, Israel-Palestine, and related topics.
  • Enhancing campus awareness and accommodation of Jewish observances, including Shabbat, major Jewish holidays, and dietary requirements. ​

Read more about the summit and comments from a number of participants on the Hillel International and AJC websites.​​