Ithaca College Chosen for National Cohort to Address Antisemitism

By IC News, September 13, 2021
IC will receive guidance and training to push back against antisemitism.

Ithaca College will participate in Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative (CCI) cohort for the 2021-22 academic year. Through their collaborative work, campus administrators will learn the tools and best practices to ensure a positive campus climate in which Jewish members of the IC community feel comfortable expressing their identity and values. 

“We are delighted to have been selected to join the Campus Climate Initiative led by Hillel International,” said Hierald Osorto, executive director for student equity and belonging. “Our partnership alongside 18 other institutions of higher education positions us at Ithaca College to continue to create a welcoming and affirming space for our Jewish students, staff and faculty.” 

IC joins a wide variety of campuses across the United States, from large research universities to smaller liberal arts colleges, and both private and public institutions. The cohort also includes campuses that have dealt extensively with issues related to antisemitism in recent years and those that are seeking to proactively improve their campus climate for Jewish students. 

The Campus Climate Initiative cohort for the 2021-22 academic year includes:

  • Binghamton University 
  • Case Western Reserve University 
  • Elon University 
  • Florida Atlantic University 
  • Goucher College 
  • Ithaca College 
  • Kennesaw State University 
  • New York University 
  • Northwestern University 
  • Rutgers University 
  • San Diego State University 
  • San Jose State University 
  • Stony Brook University 
  • Temple University 
  • Tufts University 
  • University of Connecticut 
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison 
  • University of Wisconsin System 
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) 

The CCI model is meant to strengthen the relationships between Jewish student leaders, Hillel professionals and campus officials by educating campus administrators about the Jewish community and antisemitism.  CCI works within institutions’ existing commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion, recognizing that Jewish students need to be supported as part of these broader efforts.  

Unlike other efforts to address antisemitism on campuses, Hillel’s Campus Climate Initiative engages higher education leaders proactively with opportunities to rigorously assess their campus climate, learn best practices and policies, and develop action plans to meaningfully improve. The year-long cohort experience facilitates learning and sharing among university administrators mutually committed to addressing campus antisemitism, creating relationships that will improve communications and coordination when antisemitic incidents occur. 

“This new collaboration builds on the excellent work occurring in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life alongside our longtime campus partner Hillel at Ithaca College,” said Osorto. “It will help us expand our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.”