A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

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Amid rising antisemitism, WashU still standing strong in revised ADL report

Since the Anti-Defamation League released its first-ever Campus Antisemitism Report Card in April, universities across the U.S. have experienced a significant increase in antisemitic incidents and hostile campus climates. This surge led the ADL to reassess its grades for schools, with the updated results released on June 18. Despite these challenges, Washington University (WashU) remains one of the few American colleges to earn and maintain a high grade in combatting antisemitism and protecting Jewish students, according to the ADL.

WashU earned a “B” grade, while only two other schools—Brandeis University and Elon University—received the top “A” grade. The report card highlights the university’s proactive approach to addressing antisemitism and fostering a safe campus environment for Jewish students.

800 Washington University students came together on Thursday, October 12th outside the Danforth University Center on campus for a gathering in support of Israel through song, prayer, and testimonials.

“Washington University has been a tremendous partner of ADL Heartland and the Jewish community,” said Jordan Kadosh, regional director of ADL Heartland. “Their grade reflects intentional efforts to counter antisemitism and all forms of hate on campus.”

The ADL report commended WashU’s Chancellor Andrew Martin for his statements condemning the Hamas attack, issued on Oct. 10, 2023, and his Oct. 26 statement denouncing antisemitism on campus. In that statement, he wrote that he was “deeply disturbed to learn that during gatherings on campus in the past week, antisemitic phrases were chanted and written on signs.”

In a statement to the Jewish Light, Chancellor Martin said the university is pleased to have received a high mark from the ADL report card.

“While I’m proud of the work we’ve done institutionally to create a supportive and respectful environment at WashU, this recognition really is a testament to our students and other community members who continue to conduct themselves with integrity and grace during challenging times. We are firm in our commitment to being a place where all feel welcome and included, and where we stand firmly against harassment, intimidation, and discrimination in any form,” said Chancellor Martin.

The report also acknowledged that WashU mandated antisemitism education for its campus community.

“The St. Louis Jewish community can be proud of the work our community partners are doing on campus,” said Kadosh.

WashU Hillel and Chabad at WashU have played key roles in creating a safe and vibrant Jewish community on campus.

“Our Hillel and the administration are actively working together to raise awareness about and counter antisemitism on campus, and I believe our positive campus climate is a testament to the work of Hillel and Chabad and our strong partnership with the University,” said Jackie Levey, president and CEO of WashU Hillel.

Rabbi Hershey Novack, co-director of Chabad at WashU added, “While the report card is a helpful tool for guiding students and their families in choosing a college, I always encourage prospective students to try to talk with current students. They can share their real-world experiences, which are hard to capture in any report card.”

Campus antisemitism report card The report card included the top national and liberal arts schools, as well as schools with the highest proportion of Jewish students. Regionally, St. Louis University, University of Missouri and University of Illinois were not included. Indiana University and University of Colorado at Boulder, which are popular destinations for St. Louis students, each received a grade of C.

The ADL gathered information through a questionnaire to schools and its own research, ultimately receiving input from 84% of assessed campuses.

On June 18, 2024, the ADL announced revised grades for some schools assessed in its Campus Antisemitism Report Card. Since the initial release, campus climates have become more hostile, with a significant increase in antisemitic incidents. The ADL re-assessed the 85 schools, considering recent escalations and university responses. The updated grade distribution now includes 2 schools with an “A,” 18 schools with a “B,” 32 schools with a “C,” 24 schools with a “D,” and 9 schools with an “F” grade.

For more information visit the ADL online.

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Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.