While heartened by news of the emerging ceasefire, Hillel International is alarmed by the dramatic rise in antisemitism on college campuses and personal attacks against Jewish and Zionist students in recent days, including threats and hate-filled messages on social media, offensive defacement of property and even physical assaults. In addition, Jewish students on several campuses have been made to feel unwelcome and unseen by the actions of their student governments, who have rushed to release one-sided statements on the conflict, and unsafe as a result of the spread of misinformation by their peers and educational institutions.
Regardless of one’s view of the conflict, hateful language, threats and other attacks directed at Jewish students and their identity are completely unacceptable and have no place online, on social media, or on campus. Hillel is actively working with university administrators, partner organizations and student leaders to identify, mitigate and prevent antisemitism and improve campus climate around the world. Students experiencing these issues should report them to their local Hillel professionals or to Hillel International. Hillel@Home will also be offering programming next week guiding students on how to respond to hostile and antisemitic messages and threats on social media.
Hillel International remains committed to supporting the Jewish and democratic State of Israel, and to a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. We will continue to provide Jewish students unparalleled opportunities to learn about, experience and engage with Israel so that students everywhere can feel safe and secure in expressing their relationships to Israel. At the same time, this period has underscored the critical importance of Hillel’s work in building strong Jewish student communities and in promoting understanding between Jewish student communities and all other communities, in North America, Israel and around the world.
Yisa Hashem panav eleicha va’yasem lecha shalom: May God turn toward us and grant us all peace. This Shabbat all over the world we will read these immortal words of the priestly blessing. Shabbat indeed is peace, as our tradition teaches us. May this Shabbat be a blessing of peace for us all, and advance us towards ultimate peace within and between all peoples and nations.