The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Kol BT

The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Kol BT

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    BT Alumni and Anti Semitism on College Campuses.


    Soon after the war between Gaza and Israel started on October 7, a group of Harvard students signed a letter stating that Israel was entirely responsible for the conflict. This preceded similar statements on campuses across the country, and an ongoing debate about antisemitism on college campuses. Harvard’s president, Claudine Gay, initially did not comment on either the events in Israel or the letter from students. A former Harvard president, Lawrence Summers, denounced the letter and the president’s silence saying, “In nearly fifty years of Harvard affiliation, I have never been as disillusioned and alienated as I am  today.” The debate over Israel and antisemitism on college campuses continues. Three college presidents, including Gay from Harvard, recently testified on the topic before congress. There are now calls for Dr. Gay to resign, following the resignation of the president of the University of Pennsylvania.


    Because the war between Israel and Gaza has sparked sharp opinions across America and especially on college campuses, Kol BT decided to check in with BT alumni in college to see how they are feeling. We asked them how Jewish students feel as a minority on a college campus? Do they feel like they are being targeted by antisemitic groups? What were your impressions of antisemitism on your campus prior to October 7th and how have they changed? How have Jewish organizations such as Hillel responded? In what ways do you think Jewish students have been supported and in what ways do you think they need support? Is there anything else that you can share as Jewish student in the aftermath of October 7th?


    Eitan Murinson (‘19), Junior at The Johns Hopkins University says prior to October 7th he “did not even have an impression of anti-semitism on his campus.” Other BT alumni agree with his sentiment. Specifically Rebecca Gold (‘19), Senior at The University of Alabama says that she is so grateful to say that the question on antisemitism on her campus is a resounding no. However Rachel Hackam (‘21), Junior at Emerson College says “there is a lot of criticism of Israel on campus right now. [However], it’s mostly targeted at the Israeli government.”


    Hackam goes on to say that “Jewish students are not being targeted.” Gold agrees saying in her 4.5 years at Alabama that she “has never once felt targeted.” Murinson agrees, however he says that some of his friends at Harvard are having a very difficult time, even saying that one of his friends was “spat on.” 


    Murinson says that he feels supported by his non-Jewish professors and friends, and Hillel has felt overwhelmingly welcoming and “heart warming,” and other Alumni agree. Gold says that her hillel recently combined with chabad to form a community of around 300, and Hackem says that Suffolk University and Emersons Hillel have both combined. However, Mirinson says because when it came to BLM and the Russia-Ukraine war the response was swift, and he “felt hurt when [Hopkins] took a while to release a response.” He goes on to say that the eventual response was “equivocating.” 

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