A new Instagram account has begun collecting anonymous stories of experiences of antisemitism on campuses across the US in order to “provide a safe space” for Jewish students to speak up against antisemitism on campus.
The Jewish on Campus page has gained over 13,000 followers, and more than 130 stories have been posted since it opened in early July.
The page was made to “provide a safe space for Jews of all backgrounds to speak up against antisemitism on college campuses,” according to The Jewish News of North Carolina.
“My hope is to make more students heard on campus,” Zohar Levy, a student at Stanford University and outreach coordinator for Jewish on Campus told The Jewish News. “We are here to tell a story.”
About 800 stories have been submitted, although not all have been published, with submissions coming from hundreds of universities including Columbia, Brandeis, Harvard and University of California Berkeley.
Stories can be submitted by filling out a Google form with a description of the incident, the name of the college or university and whether the institution or university responded. No one involved in the incident or in reporting the incident are named.
Some 17 student volunteers fact check and vet the stories before they’re posted, according to The Jewish News.
Jewish on Campus describes itself as a “bipartisan Zionist group” and also posts about Zionism and other topics. The group also hosts the Zionist on Campus Instagram page with educational posts about Israel.
Levy told The Jewish News that she has experienced and seen antisemitism at Stanford, including the discovery last month of swastikas drawn in a hallway of the on-campus Memorial Church. Levy also works to contact Jewish organizations to ask them to share posts from the Instagram page.
Isaac de Castro, a student at Cornell University, started the page. “Jewish college students, we should make one of those accounts where we post all the antisemitic s&%$ we’ve encountered anonymously,” tweeted de Castro on July 6, following up later inviting people to follow the page.
Julia Jassey, one of seven student leaders running the page and a student at the University of Chicago, told The Jewish News that they’re considering applying for nonprofit status to turn Jewish on Campus into a more expansive organization to “defend Jewish students whose voices aren’t being heard.”
The group has also made a new blog on Medium where students can write about broader topics, such as sexual assault or Zionism. Both anonymous and non-anonymous essays are being accepted.
Some fellow students of Jassey’s have criticized the idea, saying that those who write to the page are “just white people complaining.” Comments on a post about British rapper Wiley, who recently posted antisemitic comments, include “Destroy Israel” and “Jews are not oppressed y’all got reparations so long ago keep it pushing please.”
“It just comes with the job,” said Jassey in response. “We want to be loud and proud of our Jewish pride movement.”