AJC and Hillel International Expand Partnership to Counter Antisemitism on Campus



March 28, 2024

Expanded Work Aims to More Deeply Engage College and University Administrators on Responding to Antisemitism through AJC’s Academic Affairs and Hillel’s Campus Climate Initiative

New York, NYAmerican Jewish Committee (AJC) and Hillel International today announced that they are expanding their partnership to deepen the organizations’ critical work with college and university presidents and administrators to combat rising antisemitism on campus. 

As organizations with decades of experience countering antisemitism on campus and strengthening Jewish life, this partnership is a vital step that will improve the campus climate for the Jewish community. Both organizations will continue to deepen their work on the local and national levels with students, college and university administrators, and all stakeholders in the higher education landscape to address antisemitism on campuses and ensure the safety and well-being of Jewish students, faculty, and staff.

Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International shared, “Now more than ever, our partnership with AJC is vital to equipping university presidents and senior administrators with the tools they need to assert stronger and more effective leadership in protecting and supporting their Jewish students. We have tracked more than 1,150 incidents of antisemitism on campus since October 7 alone, making our work together all the more urgent. We are grateful for our close collaboration with AJC, as we work together to fundamentally improve the campus climate for Jewish students and all students.”

In 2025, AJC’s groundbreaking Project Interchange and Hillel’s flagship Campus Climate Initiative will host a joint delegation of university and college leadership from across the country to Israel, modeled after AJC’s proven Project Interchange educational and experiential program. 

“Harnessing the expertise of both of our organizations will help us to be even more effective as we work to support Jewish students and ensure that every campus is not only safe for Jewish life but is a place where the Jewish community can grow and thrive,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch.AJC and our Project Interchange program have been engaged with campus leadership for decades, and since 2000, have brought more than 175 academic administrators and more than 24 delegations to Israel to see Israel up close – and beyond the headlines. These experiences also allow leaders to learn from each other, providing an opportunity to exchange ideas as they meet with their counterparts from across the U.S. and in Israel. Partnering with Hillel, and specifically the CCI program, we can engage even more college and university administrators as we work to counter some of the worst campus antisemitism we have seen in our lifetimes,“ said AJC CEO Ted Deutch.

In 2022, AJC and Hillel, along with the American Council on Education (ACE), convened the first University Presidents Summit on Campus Antisemitism. The Summit, which brought together 40 college and university presidents from across the U.S. with Jewish community leaders and members of Congress, launched a critical, national conversation among higher education leaders about the challenges Jewish students face on their campuses, including how to begin to address the challenge of antisemitism and in particular when anti-Israel discourse crosses the line into antisemitism. 

As part of the expanded partnership announced today, AJC and Hillel will once again be joined by ACE in hosting a University Presidents Summit on Campus Antisemitism in fall 2024, building on the success of that first summit.

Following the publication of the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, AJC created and distributed a series of guides to implement the strategy’s recommendations, including one for higher education administration. In the wake of the spike of antisemitism seen after Hamas’ October 7 terror attack, AJC released Confronting Campus Antisemitism: An Action Plan for University Administrators, which has been cited multiple times by members of Congress and has driven AJC’s briefings for top university leaders.

Hillel just welcomed more than 35 colleges and universities into its flagship Campus Climate Initiative (CCI) program to facilitate critical collaboration with university presidents and campus administrators, bringing the total of universities participating in CCI to more than 75.

A majority of Jewish college students (56%) say their lives have been directly impacted by antisemitism on campus since October 7, according to a recent Hillel survey. AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report found that 20% of current and recent students reported feeling or being excluded from a group or event because they are Jewish— up from 12% in 2022. More than half of these students felt or were excluded more than once. Separately, 17% felt or were excluded from a group or an event on campus because of their assumed or actual connection to Israel.