Courtesy  AMCHA Initiative via JNS  A mock Israeli checkpoint set up during “Israel Apartheid Week” on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles.

Courtesy  AMCHA Initiative via JNS 

A mock Israeli checkpoint set up during “Israel Apartheid Week” on the campus of University of California, Los Angeles.

 

(JNS) Students from more than 80 campuses will head to Boston for a high-level training conference Aug. 12-15 on how to respond to the upsurge in campus anti-Semitism and anti-Israel activism.

The conference is being hosted by the campus department of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), which will offer students a free trip to Boston to attend four full days of lectures, discussions and workshops.

“Campus anti-Semitism is a global challenge,” said Aviva Rosenschein, CAMERA’s international campus director. “We have students coming from as far as Europe and Israel.”

“Anti-Israel activity is getting more and more extreme,” said Josh Eibelman, a student at Cornell University. “The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has disappeared, if there ever was a distinction. That’s why we’re here, at CAMERA’s conference, to sharpen our arguments and strategies to effectively address the hostility that we’ll face in the coming year.”

At the end of 2018, Inside Higher Ed reported that prior to and after the fatal shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October of that year, “prejudicial displays have plagued college campuses, following a trend of anti-Semitism on the rise at colleges and universities—and around the country—since 2016.”

Rosenschein pointed to several examples in which Jewish students and property on various campuses had been threatened or vandalized. Swastikas were painted at Duke University, Cornell University and the University of Tennessee, while anti-Semitic vandalism, graffiti and hate-filled fliers were found at schools as diverse as the University of Minnesota, Pennsylvania State University, Goucher College, University of California, Berkeley and Davis campuses, and at Vassar College and Marist College.

Rosenschein said that CAMERA’s campus staff are able to assist so many different kinds of students because the staff work hard to understand the unique needs and cultures of the various college campuses. “We all come from different backgrounds but, ultimately, we unite under Zionism,” said Rosenschein.

CAMERA’s conference will host noted speakers, breakout sessions, interactive workshops and presentations throughout the five days. Attendees will also meet other Israel advocates from around the world, all while heeding the call to stand up for the Jewish homeland on campus this fall.

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