Campus is first in UC system, third in state to join cohort addressing antisemitism
The University of California, Irvine will join Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative. Campus administrators will receive training and resources to create a positive environment for Jewish students. UCI is the first campus in the UC system to participate in Hillel’s CCI, as well as the first college in Orange County and third in the state.
“The rise of antisemitism both nationally and internationally is a matter of great urgency that must be confronted. Building on our existing strong and persistent efforts to combat antisemitism, we are proud to take the next step by joining with Hillel International,” said UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman. “We look forward to this substantial expansion of our partnership with Hillel as we work together to create a safe and vibrant community for Jewish students to thrive.”
In 2020, Hillel International created CCI to partner with higher education administrators. The initiative recognizes that key leaders play an important role in bringing about broad-based educational and policy changes on campus and that university-Hillel collaborations can catalyze advances benefiting all students. The CCI model involves partnership between the college or university administration, local Hillel and the CCI team.
The Anti-Defamation League reported 219 antisemitic incidents at more than 130 college and university campuses across the country in 2022—an increase of 41 percent from the 155 incidents in 2021. UCI will integrate into its broader diversity, equity and inclusion commitments CCI’s comprehensive program to foster a campus climate in which Jewish students feel comfortable expressing their identity free of antisemitism, harassment or marginalization.
The program offers administrators a 16-month educational curriculum through which to explore Jewish student experiences on campus, as well as with tools for assessing the current campus climate. It also supports the development and implementation of action plans that seek to create a more inclusive environment for all students.
“CCI provides data-informed solutions to higher education professionals to address the very real challenges faced by Jewish students on their campuses,” said Lisa Armony, executive director of Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative. “Addressing campus antisemitism not only benefits Jewish students, but also helps cultivate a campus climate where all students can engage in respectful learning and discourse. We appreciate UC Irvine’s commitment, and we know it will be a valued partner to the 40-plus colleges and universities in the U.S. that have participated in this program.”
The Hillel Campus Climate Initiative will be administered under UCI’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, which collaborates across campus on antisemitism through its Confronting Extremism initiative. These efforts aim to promote tolerance and appreciation of cultural and religious pluralism at UCI.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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