Anti-Defamation League Gives U-M a ‘D’ Grade for Antisemitism

The University of Michigan received a D grade on the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Campus Antisemitism Report Card, released April 11. The ADL gives U-M the lowest possible ratings in the categories of “hostile anti-Zionist student government activity,” “hostile anti-Zionist student groups,” and “antisemitic speakers or programs on campus.”

The ADL cites antisemitic graffiti that was painted at the Jewish Resource Center and two fraternities in the past year. It notes the frequent “protests, walkouts and die-ins” organized by pro-Palestinian activists since the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and the Israel–Hamas war.

The ADL, established in 1913 “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all,” rated 85 top US colleges and universities on the severity of antisemitic incidents and the strength of their policies against antisemitism and their Jewish student life. U-M was one of 24 schools to earn a D.

Nevertheless, Jewish student leaders were optimistic about the campus climate. “A report card reducing the overall environment for Jewish students at Michigan into a single letter grade misses the holistic picture of Jewish life on our campus, which includes a growing and thriving Jewish community,” Ryan Silberfein, an LSA junior and chair of the Michigan Hillel governing board, told the Michigan Review.

LSA sophomore Dani Portnoy, the student president of the Jewish Resource Center, agreed:

“While I am definitely disappointed in the grade and agree that there needs to be improvement in regard to our campus climate, I know that there is a lot of Jewish pride and joy on campus. The Jewish Resource Center, Chabad House and Hillel are all committed to working together to support students on campus and help work with the administration to improve the climate of antisemitism at the University of Michigan.”

Michigan State University, the only other school in Michigan that was rated, got an F. In its report on Michigan State, the ADL mentions an Israeli flag stolen from a predominantly Jewish fraternity and a trivia question about Adolf Hitler on the jumbotron at a home football game against Michigan. The only two schools to earn an A were Brandeis University and Elon University.

Colleen Mastony, U-M’s assistant vice president for public affairs, told the Michigan Review:

We take the Anti-Defamation League’s Campus Antisemitism Report Card seriously and we are committed to combating antisemitism and ensuring the University of Michigan is a place where all students — regardless of their race and ethnicity, national origin, gender and gender identity, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, disability, political perspective and more — can thrive and succeed.

Mastony pointed to U-M’s efforts to combat antisemitism, such as the forthcoming Raoul Wallenberg Institute and Initiative on Jewish Life and Antisemitism.

(Visited 232 times, 1 visits today)

About Alex Stamell

Alex Stamell is editor in chief emeritus of the Michigan Review.