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Campus and Community: Strengthening the Identity of Jewish College Students

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Publication Date: January 1994

Publisher(s): American Jewish Committee

Author(s): Jacob B. Ukeles; Sally Baker

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Education (Colleges and universities)

Keywords: Jewish Continuity; Identity Formation; Campus Organizations; Jewish Identification

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


This report, based on a series of focus groups conducted with Jewish college students in the fall of 1993, documents the "voices" of Jewish college students and assesses the needs and opportunities for strengthening Jewish life on campus. The report categorizes Jewish college students into four groups- activists, empathizers, ambivalent, and invisible- according to the extent to which the depth of their Jewish commitment is expressed in actions and behaviors. The authors maintain that strategies for enhancing Jewish identity should respond to the four types of students, with the greatest priority given to the empathizers and to the ambivalent. They argue that the campus must become a communal priority and conclude by calling on the American Jewish Committee to play a role on the American college campus as part of the overall effort of the organized Jewish community to strengthen Jewish identity.