Rosen Co-Leads Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Urging Department of Education to Take Concrete Steps to Counter Antisemitism on College Campuses

WASHINGTON DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined Representatives Kathy Manning (D-NC-06), Chris Smith (R-NJ-06), and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) in co-leading a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Education to take additional steps to counter antisemitism and protect Jewish students on college campuses. The letter also requests that the Department of Education brief Members of Congress on the Department’s progress implementing the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism by September 30, 2023. 

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), antisemitic incidents on college campuses increased by 41 percent from 2021 to 2022. During that same period, nearly one-third of Jewish students experienced antisemitism directed at them on campus or by a member of the campus community. 

“As members of Congress who are committed to countering antisemitism, we are deeply concerned about the rise of antisemitic incidents at universities and college campuses. The U.S Department of Education has a key role to play in the federal government’s efforts to counter antisemitism,” the Members wrote.

The letter expresses support for the Education Department’s Antisemitism Awareness Campaign and other commitments in the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, issued in May 2023, and specifies several strategies to combat antisemitism in schools.

The Members continued: “We encourage the Department to continue to swiftly investigate other pending cases and to continue to enforce federal civil rights laws against antisemitism in all forms. We also encourage the Department to undertake concerted efforts to encourage the reporting of antisemitic incidents; despite the increase in complaints to OCR, anti-Jewish incidents remain woefully underreported. That is why we respectfully request that the Department provide written responses to the following questions:

  1. How is the Department working to swiftly resolve a backlog of pending discrimination complaints, and specifically those involving antisemitism?
  2. What additional resources does the Department require to successfully resolve the pending complaints in a timely manner? 
  3. How will the Department help schools, including those that have experienced an increase in antisemitism, improve their processes and procedures for reporting antisemitic incidents on college campuses?
  4. How does the Department plan to highlight best practices to prevent and address antisemitism on campus and ensure students, educators, and administrators are aware of available resources? 
  5. What technical assistance will the Department provide to schools regarding Title VI, its application to Jewish students and its coverage of all forms of antisemitic discrimination?”

Read the full letter aquí.

Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight against antisemitism. Earlier this year, Senator Rosen introduced, alongside Senator Lankford,  the Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act to strengthen Holocaust education in the United States. Last Congress, her bipartisan Never Again Education Act was signed into law, establishing a federal fund through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide teachers with resources and training necessary to teach students the important lessons of the Holocaust. Senator Rosen also co-founded and co-leads the Senate Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Antisemitism with Senator Lankford.