In light of mounting antisemitism, Jewish high schools in New Jersey have said they will no longer cooperate with universities seeking recruits from Modern Orthodox schools unless those universities guarantee the kids’ safety. Both the Torah Academy of Bergen County and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls have instituted new protocols for visiting universities interested in meeting with pupils. On Monday, students and parents at a third nearby institution were informed that the administration was “reevaluating ties with college admissions officers.” However, no final decisions had been made.
In the United States, some Jews already felt uneasy about the safety of Jewish students on college campuses, and these recent events are further heightening those concerns. Public statements made by universities concerning the violence in Israel have also been met with criticism, with several notable Jewish benefactors threatening to cut off institutions they felt did not sufficiently criticize Hamas or enabled anti-Semitic sentiment to develop. There will be an increase in antisemitism on college campuses during times of war, and the Biden administration needs to come up with a strategy to counteract this trend.
Changing the stance of high schools is intended to put more pressure on colleges and institutions to take action. It was not “planned for,” but the new rule to protect students was essential to implement moving forward, according to Joshua Kahn, a rabbi at TABC, Torah Academy of Bergen County. (TABC is located in Teaneck, New Jersey.)
The Torah Academy of Bergen County stated on October 27 that the school now requires universities to offer a safety plan for Jewish students on campus. The school is an all-male institution with 275 pupils.
Similarly, because of the rise of antisemitism on college campuses, Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School is “reevaluating its connections with college admissions officers” and considering implementing similar criteria.