Press Release

Gillibrand, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Take on Antisemitism on College Campuses

Apr 25, 2024

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, alongside 29 other senators, announced the introduction of the bipartisan Antisemitism Awareness Act. The bill will help address antisemitic sentiment and action on college campuses—which has been rising across the nation for years and spiked in the wake of Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7, 2023—by requiring the U.S. Department of Education to consider the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws.

“In recent years, and especially over the past several months, we have seen a disturbing rise in antisemitism across the country and on our college campuses,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This rise is unacceptable, and we must do more to protect our students. The Antisemitism Awareness Act would ensure the Department of Education has the right legal definitions needed to take action against all forms of antisemitism on our college campuses. No student should ever be the victim of antisemitic discrimination, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to get this vital bill passed.”

The Antisemitism Awareness Act would formalize the Department of Education’s consideration of the IHRA’s definition of antisemitism, which is a vital tool helping to clarify and identify the various manifestations of antisemitism. Since 2018, the Department of Education has used the IHRA definition when investigating violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This definition is supported by President Biden’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, was included in President Biden’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, and has been used by the State Department since the Obama administration. 

In addition to Senator Gillibrand, the Antisemitism Awareness Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), James Lankford (R-OK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rick Scott (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Boozman (R-AR), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Katie Britt (R-AL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Barrasso (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Cornyn (R-TX), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).