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Concern about antisemitism and anti-Zionism on British campuses has been a major issue in the British Jewish community for many years. JPR's national survey of Jewish student identity found that whilst there is unquestionably cause for concern, it is important to understand the issue in the larger context of student life as a whole.
Whilst 38% of Jewish students are indeed worried about anti-Israel sentiment on university, only 8% are "very worried" about it, compared with 25% who are "not at all worried." Furthermore, located in the context of other concerns, it comes relatively low down on the list; in fact, students are considerably more worried about passing their exams and finding a job, not to mention relationship issues, living up to their parents' expectations and paying off their financial debts.
Aside from this, the student survey explores a wide range of issues concerning how Jewish students express their Jewish identities, how they are involved in Jewish communal life, and where and what they choose to study. It notes that this generation of students has a strong sense of its own ethnic identity, is largely engaged in Jewish life, and, like the British Jewish community as a whole, commonly chooses to study in cities with large clusters of other Jews.
The survey was conducted with the financial support of Pears Foundation, UJIA, Rothschild Foundation (HaNadiv) Europe and the Maurice Wohl Charitable Trust. The data have been widely used to support the policy development of the Union of Jewish Students and other communal bodies serving the Jewish student population.
To download the report in full, click here