The database was unveiled in mid-January by AMCHA Initiative, based in Santa Cruz, Calif., as a resource for current and prospective students, parents, university administrators, elected officials, researchers, and donors. Amcha is the Hebrew word for “your people.”
The local academic institutions listed here are Delaware Valley College, Doylestown, Bucks County, PA; Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA; and Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J.
The incidents are organized into three categories: Targeting Jewish Students and Staff, Anti-Semitic Expression and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Activity. Each act is further classified under the 10 recognized forms of anti-Semitic behavior. In addition, AMCHA announced a dynamic, 2016 incident tracker that will be updated in real time.
“Sadly anti-Semitism continues to plague our nation’s schools,” said Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA co-founder and director. “We hope this tool will serve as a resource to parents, students, prospective faculty and donors when making decisions. And cataloging such anti-Semitic incidents should serve as an important wake up call to university leaders and elected officials.”
A few examples of the 302 incidents from 2015 that took place at 109 schools in 28 states:
- Brooklyn College: “Jews – the root of all evil” was scrawled on a wall in the library.
- Clark University, Cleveland State University, Framingham State University, George Washington University, John Jay College, Montclair State University, Rowan University, SUNY Purchase, Tufts, UC Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of Missouri, Valdosta State University, Vanderbilt, Western New Mexico State University: Swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs were scrawled on school buildings and property.
- Columbia University: Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) was one of 10 local SJP chapters endorsing an advertisement for a rally that contained several classic and contemporary anti-Semitic tropes including that the administration’s ties to Israel were responsible for tuition hikes.
- Delaware Valley College: Female student athlete tweeted, “Can I kill all the [expletive deleted] Jews in Lakewood pleeeasse?!?!!”
- Drexel University: A swastika and “Jew” was found written near an Israeli flag.
- Farleigh Dickinson University: A swastika was drawn outside Hillel Director Rabbi Ely Allen’s office.
- Hunter College: “Zionists out of CUNY” and “Long live the Intifada” was chanted during a rally protesting tuition hikes.
- Indiana University: Thirty members of the Traditionalist Youth Network marched on campus holding anti-Semitic signs and wearing Nazi memorabilia.
- Medgar Evers College: An Orthodox Jewish student was punched in the face and told “Leave the school, you Jew.”
- Miami University Ohio: Two students wrote anti-Semitic graffiti on a dormitory hallway.
- Northeastern University: Following a divisive divestment vote, a mezuzah was vandalized and multiple swastikas were drawn on school property.
- Northwestern University: Following an active and vocal divestment effort, multiple swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were found in four different locations on campus over a three-month-period. During that same time a Jewish student reported being targeted and harassed at an SJP “Israel Apartheid Week” event and filed a bias incident report.
- Pace University: A student’s Snapchat account featured the University’s football captain giving the Nazi salute.
- San Diego State University: Convicted terrorist Rasmeah Odeh was the keynote speaker at a national SJP conference at SDSU promoting the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
- Towson University: A Jewish star with a cross through it, “Hitler was right,” and “With Jews you lose” were scrawled on campus.
- UC Berkeley: “Zionists should be sent to the gas chamber” found etched on school property.
- UC Davis: A Jewish fraternity was defaced with swastikas the day after a contentious divestment vote; “grout out the Jews” was etched into the Hillel house; and vandals carved swastikas and “F**k the Jews” into cars and slashed tires on campus.
- UC Irvine: An Anteaters for Israel I-Fest event was disrupted by anti-Israel protesters who chanted loudly to drown out the event and physically blocked a walkway. The civil rights of Jewish students who wanted to gather peacefully were violated.
- UCLA: A UCLA student and employee posted anti-Semitic comments on social media including, “F**king Jews. GTFOH with all your Zionist bullshit. Crazy ass f**king troglodyte albino monsters of cultural destruction. F**king Jews. GTFOH with your whiny bullshit. Give the Palestinians back their land, go back to Poland or whatever freezer-state you’re from, and realize that faith does not constitute race.”
- UC Santa Cruz: SJP set up mock checkpoints on campus insisting that students show ID cards before entering the library. The event demonized Israel and Jewish students reported feeling targeted and harassed.
- University of Central Florida: A rash of anti-Semitic posters swept through campus over a period of a week. One had a Star of David and the words “1%” and “Bankers” underneath, a second had a swastika on a flag with a message calling for an Israel boycott and others contained the phrases “Muh Holocaust” and “Truth is Treason In the empire of lies.”
- University of Chicago: Threatening anti-Semitic comments were posted on Yik Yak including, “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.”
- University of Illinois Champaign Urbana: A large menorah outside the Chabad House was knocked over twice.
- University of Oregon: A male yelled anti-Semitic slurs at a Jewish student and threatened to assault him with a firearm.
“Anti-Semitism, what many of us thought only a decade or so ago was a sad part of our history, continues to rear its ugly head on campuses from coast to coast,” said Leila Beckwith, AMCHA co-founder and UCLA emeritus professor. “What those of us that monitor cases on a regular basis know is today’s anti-Semitism not only includes swastikas and historical anti-Jewish slang. Today’s anti-Semitism is often cloaked in anti-Israel behaviors and demonstrations that in truth seek to deny Jews, alone of all ethnic groups, the right to self-determination, and blame the only Jewish state for all evil in the world and spew lies and hatred about the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Universities must adopt accurate definitions of anti-Semitism so that students understand when political debate crosses the line into blatant anti-Semitism.”
AMCHA has been leading a coalition of more than 40 groups that is calling on the University of California, our nation’s largest public school system, to adopt an accurate definition of anti-Semitism that can be used to identify and educate the campus community about contemporary Jew-hatred. Specifically, the groups have urged the inclusion of the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism. The State Department definition acknowledges a distinction between criticism of Israel’s policies and calls for the destruction of Israel which are anti-Semitic and breed additional anti-Semitism.
AMCHA also has a “Student Voices” webpage which documents personal testimonials from hundreds of students at 47 schools in 20 states who have experienced anti-Semitism on campus.