BOSTON, Mass. — A recent rise in antisemitic rhetoric and events across the country is prompting one university to explore new ways to combat the disturbing trend.
"Antsemitism is an integral part of Western culture and it’s always there," said Ingrid Anderson, who serves as the associate director of the Elie Wiesel Center at Boston University. "In big moments of change and loss, this is where we go. We get anti-immigrant, and we get more tolerant of antisemitism. So, that’s my takeaway is we must be in a really big moment if this is where we’re going."
With antsemitism on the rise, Anderson has noticed more and more of her Jewish students expressing growing concerns and fears about what they’re seeing and hearing.
"We have a very diverse population and they’ve been expressing real concern about the vibe on campus being different," she added.
In response to this moment in time the university is launching a new college course called “Antisemitism After the Holocaust.” The goal is to give students a space to talk about what they’re seeing and experiencing.
"How can we help students identify it and engage in advocacy and support?" Anderson said about the course which is being added next fall.
Her eventual hope is to use this moment in time as a learning experience. By talking about modern-day antisemitism, it might pivot others' words and actions.
"We can use the knowledge we have to support our students to deal with antisemitism."