The Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC), a Jewish high school in New Jersey, has taken a firm and commendable stand to safeguard its students’ future well-being. In a proactive move, TABC has mandated that colleges and universities interested in recruiting its students must first provide a written commitment that they will protect Jewish students on their campuses.
Thank you for spreading this message. We must make sure our students feel safe on college campuses! Academic freedom & freedom of speech can not jeopardize physical safety. The anti-semitism being expressed in scary ways has not place on college campuses. https://t.co/zEzzzJYCnL
— Josh Kahn (@RabbiJoshKahn) October 31, 2023
In a letter that has been widely circulated on social media, including an X post by New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz, TABC has laid out its expectations clearly. The school requires colleges to present a detailed plan of action demonstrating how they intend to ensure the safety and security of Jewish students, particularly in the wake of escalating unrest and anti-Semitic incidents globally and on college campuses.
This decision by TABC comes against the backdrop of increasing anti-Semitic hate crimes and the heightened sense of vulnerability felt by Jewish students. The letter poignantly references the terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians, drawing a parallel to the rise in anti-Semitic threats and actions, especially in academic environments.
Applauding the few leaders who have stepped up, the school has made it clear that it is closely monitoring university responses — or lack thereof — to the discrimination and danger faced by Jewish students. TABC has gone a step further, conditioning the permission for college representatives to visit their campus on the presentation of a written statement from their university leadership detailing plans to protect Jewish students.
In a strong concluding remark, the school has unequivocally stated that any institution failing to meet these demands will not be welcome at TABC. Rabbi Josh Kahn of TABC has expressed gratitude for the widespread support the school’s initiative has received on social media, with many calling for other schools to adopt similar measures.
This bold move by TABC sets a new precedent in ensuring the safety and well-being of Jewish students in higher education, calling on institutions to step up and be accountable for protecting all their students from hate and discrimination.