Going to college is going to look different this year.  Regardless, my alma mater has already sent multiple letters and emails asking for donations. At that same time, reports of harassment of Jewish students from fellow students and even faculty are steadily increasing.  How do you know if your former university supports your values of freedom for all and fights not only racism and hate, but is a safe, open environment for Jewish students?

This Week’s Tip: Before you donate to your Alma Mater, check to see if they support Jewish students and prosecute harassment.  

Check in with the on-campus Hillel, Chabad, Jewish fraternities or sororities, such as AEPhi or AEPi or from your computer with the AMCHA Initiative database. Then decide where you want this year’s donation to go.

We asked Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, Campus Support Director and Senior Educator at Hillel International for suggestions on how to approach your research.

“It’s a good idea to inquire about how administrators, staff, and faculty support Jewish life on campus. Hillel directors are happy to answer questions and share information about the overall campus climate. After that first line of inquiry, I recommend reaching out to an appropriate administrator, such as Head Chaplains, Deans of Religious and Spiritual Life, Deans of Student Life and Diversity, and in some cases, the Provost or President. Some questions to consider:

  • Is there a strong reporting system for harassment in place?
  • Is there a clear partnership between the college or university and Hillel to educate the campus community on anti-Semitism and how to support Jewish students?

Jewish life on campus will always need your support and making sure to direct your gift to ensure its impact is certainly worth your research and time.”

How Does my Donation to my Alma Mater Fight Anti-Semitism?

Every year, your donation makes a big difference to a University.  If you choose to withhold your donation this year, consider sending an email to the administration explaining your choice to fight back against anti-Semitism and stand up for the rights of students to get an education without harassment.  Your donation, even a small one, has leverage and a “voice” to fight back against anti-Semitism.

Send us your comments or pictures about this Tip  Do you have an idea for how to build bridges and fight anti-Semitism? Let us know!

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