New Center Will Use Cross-Disciplinary Approach to Examine New Ways to Combat Age-Old Form of Hatred

NYU flag on a building

New York University President Linda G. Mills announced the establishment of the NYU Center for the Study of Antisemitism. The Center will bring together scholars and students from across diverse disciplines—including the humanities, social sciences, Judaic Studies, history, social work, public policy, psychology, law, sociology, media studies, management, and public health—to examine both contemporary and historical manifestations of one of the world’s most enduring forms of hate, to study how it can best be combatted and to develop programmatic initiatives to address it. A new, recent, seven-figure donation to NYU will be used to fund this new academic center.

The Center is expected to open in Fall 2024.

President Mills said, “Antisemitism was on the rise even before October 7; in fact, in April 2022, NYU hosted a summit sponsored by the American Council on Education, the American Jewish Committee, and Hillel International that brought together nearly 40 university leaders to discuss how to respond to an upturn of antisemitism on campus. Since October 7, the increase has been truly terrifying in both the American and global contexts. I have listened to heartbreaking stories from students, faculty, parents, and alums. NYU unequivocally condemns antisemitism and other forms of hate, and we are committed to maintaining a campus environment where all can study and learn in an atmosphere of respect and live free from the fear of bigotry.

“This gift comes at just the right time—at a moment that cries out for new study, new insights, and new solutions to combatting this age-old hatred. I look forward to applying the Center’s findings on our campus and to sharing them with other colleges, universities, and communities.” 

Congressman Dan Goldman, in whose district NYU’s Washington Square Campus falls, said, “After several constructive conversations with senior NYU officials, I am grateful the university is taking this bold and essential step to fully understand and outright eliminate antisemitism on campuses. The NYU Center for the Study of Antisemitism could not be more timely—antisemitism has been on the rise in our city and on college campuses across the country. While antisemitism did not originate with the horrific terrorist attacks of October 7, antisemitic hate has surged in its wake. NYU must be applauded for creating a center to conduct research and evaluate the problem in a holistic way.”

Noam Gilboord, Interim CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, said, “JCRC-NY greatly appreciates NYU’s dedication to combating antisemitism in a holistic way by creating a Center for the Study of Antisemitism. As the Jewish community continues to see a rise in antisemitism, now bolstered by the Hamas attacks of October 7th, taking concrete steps to educate the diverse population at NYU and beyond about detrimental and dangerous rhetoric is deeply necessary.”

Miriam F. Elman, Executive Director of the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), and Naomi Greenspan, Director of AEN’s Improving the Campus Climate Initiative, said, “As one of the most long-lasting forms of hate, antisemitism has mutated and adapted to different circumstances and environments. It is only through the rigorous academic study of this complex phenomenon that we can effectively combat the continued Jew-hatred that has become all too common today. NYU’s commitment to this scholarship and research will ensure that Jewish inclusion is supported and addressed alongside all forms of bias and discrimination. The Academic Engagement Network looks forward to continuing to partner with NYU in this critically important work and to supporting the Center for the Study of Antisemitism’s mission and activities.”

The Center will research both classical forms of antisemitism as well as the “new antisemitism” and its links to anti-Zionism. It will examine the ways in which antisemitism and other forms of hate, discrimination and extremism fuel one another. In addition to serving as a hub for the scholarly study of antisemitism, the new Center is expected to undertake wide-ranging programs and trainings at NYU and elsewhere to educate against antisemitism and other forms of prejudice. The Center is also expected to engage with those beyond the academy—such as media, educators, government officials, law enforcement, mediators, storytellers, and religious leaders—to apply the outcomes of its research to fighting antisemitism and other forms of prejudice in real-life settings. In addition, the Center is expected to collaborate with other academic centers and organizations whose work aligns with its mission and core activities, including working closely with NYU’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies.

An inaugural Faculty Advisory Panel for the Center includes:

Professor Mor Armony, Vice Dean for Faculty and Research, Harvey Golub Professor of Business Leadership, Professor of Technology, Operations & Statistics, Stern School of Business

Professor Lihi Ben Shitrit, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Arts and Science

Professor Elisha Russ-Fishbane, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Arts and Science

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Executive Director of the Bronfman Center, Faculty Co-Director of Dual Degree Program ​​(MPA-MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies), Wagner School for Public Service

Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman, Global Distinguished Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Arts and Science

Professor Batia Wiesenfeld, Andre J.L. Koo Professor of Management, Stern School of Business

Together with others who will soon join this distinguished group of faculty, the panel will help support the early development of the Center, provide guidance for the Center’s agenda, and help identify leadership.

The Center’s activities will operate through several avenues:

  1. Funding will be provided for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows for research projects pertaining to antisemitism. 
  2. Undergraduate and graduate courses will be offered across NYU, including on our global campuses. 
  3. Conferences, webinars, and a speaker series will be offered, open to NYU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the community at large. 
  4. Training seminars and executive education will be provided in person and online for members of the NYU community and beyond.
  5. The Center will coordinate activities on NYU’s campuses designed to create an academic atmosphere free of anti-Jewish prejudices.  
  6. Regular colloquia and workshops will be organized, culminating in the publication of papers.
  7. The Center will develop a clinic for organizations, companies, or communities aiming to develop meaningful paradigms for change when it comes to antisemitism.
  8. The Center will cooperate with various other academic and non-academic centers that work on antisemitism research around the world.

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John Beckman
John Beckman
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