The University of Arizona, the University of Arizona Hillel, and the campus Jewish community are unified in our collective stance against antisemitism in all forms. Antisemitism is on the rise, on college campuses and across the country, with the Anti-Defamation League recording a 34% increase in antisemitic assault, harassment, and vandalism from 2020 to 2021, now at the highest level on record since the ADL began tracking.
The University of Arizona and UArizona Hillel share the central value of the primacy of the sanctity of life, and we will work together to improve communication, address campus culture, and strengthen our relationship toward a safer future. To that end, we have met in recent weeks to develop a deeper mutual understanding and a clear path forward for the exchange of critical and potentially life-saving information.
As a result of our dialogue, we will create a joint University/Hillel Advisory Council on Jewish Life and Antisemitism at the University of Arizona. The Council will continually seek opportunities to enhance the campus environment for all students, faculty, and staff, and to advance the University’s commitment to an inclusive community in which all feel safe and welcome. The Council will comprise undergraduate and graduate students, members of the University administration, faculty, and alumni, as well as representatives from Hillel and the broader Tucson Jewish community. Among the Council’s goals:
- Review protocols and processes related to hate crimes and bias incidents, including antisemitism;
- Create a communications plan to enhance communication and integration among the University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD), Hillel, and other campus Jewish entities;
- Adopt training programs at the administrative level and UAPD, including those to increase knowledge and skills to address antisemitism and all types of hate crimes;
- Explore opportunities to enhance student and faculty/staff trainings and DEI office resources on antisemitism, including potentially as a part of new student orientation and faculty/staff onboarding;
- Identify opportunities to improve campus climate University policies, and practices with regard to Jewish inclusion, including around identity, key holidays, and meal plan options;
- Increase awareness of campus-wide events that promote learning about Jewish culture, history, and diversity, including the annual Multicultural and Interfaith Shabbats;
- Partner on Hillel’s annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day program; and
- Strengthen relationships between Jewish students and other marginalized communities on campus.
Details about the formation of the Advisory Council will be forthcoming.