Words to Action: Empowering Jewish Students to Address Bias on Campus is an interactive education program for college and pre-college students designed to empower and equip them with constructive and effective responses to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias on campus, including:
- Anti-Israel incidents
- Prejudiced comments
- Hate speech/free speech
- Bias in the classroom
- Anti-Semitic vandalism
- Holocaust denial
THE NEED FOR THIS PROGRAM
The program is based on ADL’s Confronting Anti-Semitism program, which was created in the 1980s in response to a comprehensive survey of Jewish youth in New England, conducted by the ADL. The findings indicated that middle and high school youth were regularly experiencing anti-Semitic comments, taunts, harassment and graffiti in the halls and classrooms of their schools and in their neighborhoods and communities. Rather than standing up to this prejudice, many youth remained silent, both in the face of oppression and later, when they returned to their homes and families.
THE CHANGING FACE OF ANTI-SEMITISM ON CAMPUS
Today, as this type of anti-Semitism continues, many college students also face another form of anti-Semitism, that which is fueled by anti-Israel sentiment. On many college campuses, bias against the State of Israel has become increasingly common. High profile academics, charismatic speakers, and influential student leaders have presented the Israeli-Palestinian situation in a one-sided manner, blaming the conflict solely on Israel and largely ignoring Palestinian terrorism and violence. While the State of Israel is subject to critique just like any other government in the world, the criticisms against Israel often take a much harsher tone. Sometimes, this blatantly anti-Israel rhetoric even crosses the line into anti-Semitism.
Words to Action helps Jewish young adults address the changing face of anti-Semitism by:
- Increasing their understanding and awareness of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in their lives
- Countering anti-Semitic stereotypes and anti-Israel myths with accurate information
- Providing skills to respond effectively and appropriately to the variety of ways anti- Semitism manifests itself, from insensitive or biased comments to hate-motivated incidents