More Than One-Third of Jewish College Students Are Forced to Hide Their Jewish Identity, New Hillel Poll Finds



November 20, 2023

New survey of Jewish college students since Oct. 7 Hamas attack finds that more than 35 percent of of Jewish students say there has been violence or acts of hate targeting Jews on their campus

WASHINGTON – More than half of Jewish college students across the United States say they feel less safe on their campus since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack. The national survey of Jewish college students also found that a majority of students on campuses where there have been attacks targeting Jews are not satisfied with how the school responded to these acts of violence or hate on their campus.

“The hate that fueled Hamas’ attack on Israel has rapidly spread to college campuses, leaving Jewish students feeling both unsupported and unsafe,” said Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, which commissioned the survey. “And the data show that it’s getting worse. At a time when Jewish students need to feel safe, supported, and protected by university presidents and administrations more than they ever have before, Hillel International is working day and night to ensure universities are taking concrete actions to protect Jewish communities on campuses.”

These findings come at a time when campus antisemitism has prompted federal investigations. Last week, Lehman testified to Congress about this issue, sounding the alarm about the crisis facing Jewish students in a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. To support Jewish students on college campuses, Hillels are holding vigils and rallies in solidarity with Israel, offering safe spaces for Jewish students, providing mental health and wellness support, adding additional security and staffing, and bringing students together to celebrate their pride in their Jewish identities. Hillel serves a critical and essential need for Jewish campus communities, with four out of five Jewish students (78%) saying that Jewish spaces on campus are more important than ever before.

The survey was conducted online by Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) on behalf of Hillel International between November 14 and 15, 2023, and included 300 Jewish college students (MoE + 5.6%).

Key findings of the survey include: