Campus anti-Semitism – Two new initiatives

Today two new initiatives have been launched to tackle the on-going and increasing problem of anti-Semitism on US campuses. Both are highly commended by antisemitismwatch.com.

In the first, the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America, has punlisted its database of anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred over the past academic year by State and University.

AMCHA uses the results of its research and analysis to inform university administrators and the public about the anti-Semitic incidents, the individuals and groups that are perpetrating them, and to pressure university leaders to act. It also acts as a valuable information source to prospective students and their families in making university choices.

AMCHA also mobilises community activists and has developed a model of response that can be used to impact campuses across the country.

AMCHA is the Hebrew word meaning “Your People” and also connotes “grassroots,” “the masses,” and “ordinary people.” They have further improved their service by making their 2016 incident tracker a real time monitoring tool.

They collate incidents into three categories: Targeting Jewish Students and Staff; Anti-Semitic Expression; and Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Activity. Each act is then further classified under the 10 recognised forms of anti-Semitic behaviour.

In the second development, American actor Michael Douglas and Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky will visit three US university campuses in the coming weeks to talk about Israel and modern anti-Semitism.

The two will visit Brown University on Jan. 28, Stanford University on Feb. 2 and the University of California at Santa Barbara on Feb. 3. They will also address the issue of tolerance and inclusion in the Jewish community worldwide.

In a statement Douglas said, “These visits provide an opportunity for Natan and me to speak directly with young people about the challenges they encounter, and share insight about how we have dealt with these situations throughout our life.”

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