New website collects anti-Semitism quotes from U.C. schools, other campuses

“Hillel staff are hearing numerous reports from students that they no longer feel safe at Stanford, feel ostracized and targeted, and are unable to express their identities and opinions in the dorms and around campus.”

That quote is one of many on a new web page created by the Amcha Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to monitoring and addressing anti-Semitism in U.S. institutions of higher education.

The website, “Student Voices,” is an accumulation of more than 250 student quotes and statements about campus anti-Semitism taken from various publications, newsletters, blogs and student government meetings.

The quotes on the site come from students at 47 different schools around the nation, including U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, U.C. Davis, U.C. Santa Cruz and San Francisco State. California universities dominate the list, with more than 40 quotes coming from UCLA sources alone.

“Campus anti-Semitism is widespread and it’s escalating at an alarming rate,” Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a U.C. Santa Cruz lecturer and Amcha’s co-founder, said in a press release. “Students should know they are not alone. We hope the compilation of concerns shared by brave Jewish students … will help university leaders and elected officials understand the breadth of the problem and take action.”

According to Amcha, “all of the personal declarations [on the site] were stated publicly at student government meetings or quoted in news stories.” However, there are exceptions. The quote at the start of this piece was taken from Hillel at Stanford’s February newsletter, and some are taken from blog entries. Here are some other quotes posted on www.tinyurl.com/amcha-campus-voices; each quote is linked to its original source.

From a U.C. Santa Cruz student, via a blog entry: “It feels like we’re being punished for our heritage. It’s like, whatever is going on with these things in Israel is bad, and those who are connected and associated with it are bad.”

From an email from the San Francisco Hillel director about an Israel Independence Day event on campus, via a blogger writing about San Francisco State: “A large group of pro-Palestinians entered the campus quad and held a counter-rally. They were extremely vocal and their chants extreme … it became very tense.”

From a U.C. Davis student, via the Huffington Post: “The divestment resolution has instigated many acts of intolerance on campus against the Jewish community.”