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Projects: ANTI-SEMITISM and ANTI-ISRAELISM

Anti-Semitism and Anti-Israelism in America’s Educational Systems is a research and action initiative of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research.

The mission of this initiative is to help protect the Jewish community from the threats of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism in America’s educational systems. The research is designed to help create strategies and programs to address bias in higher education and K-12 classrooms. Both anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism are experiencing a dramatic rise, and the line between the two is blurring more. America’s educational systems have become key institutions in the anti-Israel campaign, from primary grades through graduate school.

Research Documents Prejudice

Our research has documented a pervasive anti-Israel and growing anti-Semitic bias and the expression of that bias throughout our educational systems. Jews and Israel are portrayed negatively in textbooks. Anti-Semitic posters appear on campus. The campaign for colleges to divest their investments from Israel (drawing parallels to apartheid South Africa) is spreading. Anti-Israelism has become "politically correct" on many campuses.

The initiative to combat anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism in America’s educational system has three functions:

1. Document anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism through research- This includes surveys of faculty and students and studies of religious prejudice. The extent of faculty bias, lack of administrative controls, using the classroom for political propaganda, and the blatant anti-Semitism in textbooks all need to be documented on an ongoing basis through credible research.

2. Expose anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism- More sunlight on what is happening on college campuses in terms of anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism is critical. We use methods such as electronic, print and broadcast media, publications, conferences, and press releases to disseminate the results of our research.

3. Educate important decision makers - We inform political leaders at both the state and federal levels, university trustees, K-12 boards of education, and state education committees. We propose federal, administrative and legislative solutions.

Background of the Initiative

Anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism in America’s Educational Systems is a research initiative of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research. The purpose of the initiative is to document and to address rising levels of hostility toward Jews and Israel in both higher education and K-12 classrooms. This project includes extensive surveys of college faculty and students. The Institute’s work identifies the root causes that lead to rising levels of intolerance on American college campuses. In the public elementary and secondary systems, history textbooks are filled with misrepresentations about Jews and Israel. The Institute’s work has provided essential data and analysis for policy makers, the public, and the media.

Jews, it is often said, are "the canary in the coal mine of civilization," and as such the problems experienced by Jews in America's contemporary educational systems reflect a serious problem for American society as a whole. By exposing anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism on college campuses and in primary and secondary textbooks, we simultaneously reveal anti-intellectualism and a negative political influence in America's educational systems.

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