Office of the President

A new collaboration to combat antisemitism

March 2, 2023

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Over the past several years, the number of antisemitic incidents happening across the country, including on campuses, has proliferated at an alarming rate. In 2021, antisemitism reached an all-time high in the United States, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). In higher education alone, the ADL reported, antisemitic events were up 21 percent from the previous year, during which violence against Jews was already at an elevated level.

Today, we are announcing that Brandeis is entering into a collaboration with the Kraft Group’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS) on a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy to equip students, higher ed leaders, and Jewish communal professionals with knowledge, resources, and tools to engage diverse communities in the critical work to address this rise in antisemitism and hate.

This collaboration is structured around three areas of action: a student-focused fellowship program through the Samuels Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation (COMPACT); a convening role in equipping leaders in higher education with the knowledge and support they need to address antisemitism on their campuses; and a low-residence master’s degree and graduate certificate program in antisemitism training, housed at Brandeis’ Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program.

I’m grateful that an organization as committed to fighting antisemitism as the Kraft Group’s FCAS is joining us in this critical work. FCAS will provide fellowships and post-graduate opportunities for our students and alumni, along with expertise and material support. I invite you to read this BrandeisNow article to learn more about the plans for our collaboration, and to stay tuned for future updates on all of the associated initiatives to come. Your participation in this initiative is critical to its success.

As an institution that was founded as a reaction to restrictive quotas placed on Jews, and with values rooted in the Jewish commitment to repair the world, Brandeis has a responsibility to work to create an atmosphere in which Jewish students, across American higher education, can thrive, and not hide their identities, but instead, celebrate them.

Ultimately, our highest priority at Brandeis is to ensure an open environment for learning, where all members of our academic community can feel comfortable entering into the free exchange of ideas, no matter their background. Ensuring the rights of Jewish students, particularly in society’s current environment, is fundamental to our founding ethos, and I am hopeful that this collaboration with FCAS will only serve to bolster our commitment to this end.


Ron Liebowitz