‘We are scared to set foot on campus’: Jewish university students talk about recently rising antisemitism at school

University students
The CJN Daily's producer Zachary Kauffman chats with four Canadian university students about how the Israel-Hamas war is impacting their lives in the classroom, on campus, and on social media. From top left: Zachary Kauffman, Morgan Rosenberg, Hannah Alper, and (bottom left) Emily Broitman and Ido Ziv-li.

Being a Jewish post-secondary student on Canadian campuses this semester has become an uncomfortable experience in the past month. Students have received death threats; mezuzot have been ripped down; professors have injected anti-Israel rhetoric into their lectures; and student councils—even entire departments—have issued declarations condemning Israel. All this while Jewish students, wanting to support Israel, are suffering from the same mental health crisis that’s gripped the broader Jewish Diaspora community.

The world of academia has been fertile ground for anti-Zionism, where Israel is widely considered an oppressive colonial state within anti-racism frameworks. But in the past month, college campuses have become flashpoints, pitting Canadian Jewish students against vocal antisemitism from so-called progressive teachers and classmates. This has culminated in a series of lawsuits launched by Jewish students on Nov. 2, 2023, against some of Canada’s most high-profile institutions—Toronto Metropolitan University, Queen’s, UBC and York—accusing them of negligence in failing to address antisemitism for decades.

The CJN Daily‘s producer, Zachary Kauffman, spoke with four Canadian students to find out what they’re encountering on campus. He’s joined by Hannah Alper, who attends Western University in London; Ido Ziv-li, from the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus; Morgan Rosenberg, from McMaster in Hamilton; and Emily Broitman, at Queen’s in Kingston.

What we talked about

  • Learn more about antisemitism on Canadian university campuses this month in The CJN
  • Hear why Canadian police have charged nine people so far with hate-related crimes related to the Hamas-Israel protests, on The CJN Daily
  • York University is ordering its student union to retract solidarity statement with Palestine, in The CJN


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.