5 Ways Hillel is Supporting Jewish College Students

Hillel International is responding to a rising need by distributing security and safety grants totaling over $1M so far to campus Hillels around the world. This funding will help increase Hillels’ security presence and protect Jewish students on their campuses, making it easier for students to proudly express their Jewish identity without fear in the safe space that is their campus Hillel.

Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman has met with the FBI, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security to advocate for increased need to protect Jewish and Israeli students, investigate hate crimes, and provide for their public safety on college campuses.

Hillel International partnered with the ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP to launch the Campus Antisemitism Legal Line (CALL), a free legal protection helpline for students who have experienced antisemitism. Any student, family, faculty, or staff member can go to the CALL website or text “CALLhelp” to 51555 to report incidents of antisemitic discrimination, intimidation, harassment, vandalism, or violence that may necessitate legal action.

Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman testified before the House Committee on Ways and Means to urge Congress and the Federal Government to take action and support the efforts of Hillel and other Jewish organizations around security, Title VI enforcement, and antisemitism prevention.

We are providing campus professionals with legal support and providing Hillel staff and students with communications training as they navigate the increased levels of antisemitism on colleges campuses.

Our Campus Support Directors and Israel Action and Addressing Antisemitism Program (IAP) team have been deployed to campuses across the country to address student complaints, respond to BDS campaigns, and provide on-the-ground support whenever and wherever it is needed.

Hillel International, in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League and Secure Communities Network, established ReportCampusHate.org, a portal to report antisemitic and/or bias incidents targeting Jewish community members on North American college campuses.

Hillel partners with university leadership through the Campus Climate Initiative to create safe and supportive campus environments for Jewish students, faculty, and staff — and trains university administrators on best practices to respond to antisemitism when it happens. To date, 50 colleges and universities in the United States participate in the Campus Climate Initiative.

We are also working with campus Hillels to continue to urge college and university presidents to issue strong statements condemning the atrocities committed by Hamas, and pledge to ensure the safety of Jewish students. More than 60 colleges and universities have issued statements that directly condemn Hamas and show support for Jewish students — a direct result of Hillel’s advocacy.

During this challenging moment, Jewish students are looking for ways to process their grief in a safe and judgment-free way. Hillel prioritizes Jewish students’ access to mental health resources to safeguard their well-being. For many on campus, this time has been traumatic, especially as antisemitic incidents and rhetoric quickly rise. The need for mental health care programs, resources for parents, and training for Hillel professionals has grown dramatically—and Hillel is there for the Jewish students who need help.

Student Stories

Curious what Jewish students are experiencing on campus? Learn more:

Mandi’s Story: Being a Jewish Student on Campus Today

Hear from a student leader about the struggles—and successes—that Jewish college students are encountering.

Responding to Antisemitic Incidents on Campus

Unfortunately, Jewish students are facing rising antisemitic threats and rhetoric. Here are a few examples.

One Heart Shabbat: Gathering Together, Praying for Peace

Here are some ways you can adapt your Shabbat at home as we pray for peace.

Israel Solidarity on Campus: Stories Across the U.S.

Hillels around the United States held vigils to remember and honor those who were killed, wounded, or kidnapped.

Hillel in the News

Leaders throughout the Hillel movement continue to share our message of strength, solidarity, and resolve through national news outlets.

Colleges Must Support Jewish Students Without Equivocation

Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman co-authored this opinion piece along with Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL.

War in Mideast inflames college campuses and raises fears of antisemitism

“The campus climate for Jewish students has been degrading over several years, and that has been aggravated by broader increases in antisemitism and virulent demonization of Israel on campuses.”

Hillel launches Talmud-inspired mental health and well-being fellowship

Even before the attacks on Israel, college students were asking for mental health programs and resources. This Hillel program teaches Jewish students to grapple with big questions through the lens of ancient Jewish texts.

Video: How can Jewish students not be fearful in this moment?

Hillel International President & CEO Adam Lehman is joined by student leader Jillian Lederman to discuss the spike in antisemitism on college campuses.

Resources for Students

We’ve heard how challenging this moment is for students on campus as they deal with overwhelming feelings of isolation, fear, and sadness since Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7. We want them to know: they are not alone.

Our student support page is ever-updating with local university resources, mental health counseling, and tips for navigating conversations with friends.

Community Briefing: Protecting, Supporting, and Empowering Jewish Students Today

In this urgent and important virtual briefing held on November 16, Hillel International shared more about all the ways we have been protecting and supporting Jewish college students at every level since the attack on Israel, all while remaining steadfast in our mission to support Jewish students and families on campus, and at home. Watch the video below to learn more.

Jewish Student Perspectives & the Current Campus Climate

Hillel International and AJC hosted a webinar with student leaders from AJC’s Campus Global Board and Hillel’s Israel Leadership Network to hear their firsthand perspectives of life on campus since the start of this war. Watch the video below to learn more.

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Support Hillel’s Critical Work

We are so grateful to have caring and generous supporters who ensure that Hillel continues to be a safe space and home away from home for Jewish students. Now more than ever, Jewish students need Hillel. Thank you — your impact is real, and your support is critical.