University Of Michigan Launches New Effort To Fight Antisemitism

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan has launched a new effort to fight antisemitism and promote religious inclusion amid a rise in hate-inspired attacks globally, its president said Thursday.

The university is establishing the Raoul Wallenberg Institute on its Ann Arbor campus, which will use research and scholarship on antisemitism to find ways to fight it, President Santa Ono told its Board of Regents.

"Today, we are bringing together leading U-M expertise and diverse perspectives toward a safer and more inclusive world, and even more, a brighter world of peace,” Ono said.

The institute is named after the Michigan alumnus and Swedish diplomat credited with saving thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust by issuing passports and sheltering Jews in buildings that he marked as Swedish territory.

The university community, which is home to 6,500 Jewish students, was the scene of antisemitic and homophobic vandalism at two off-campus fraternity houses in July that included broken windows and a swastika spray-painted at one of the locations.

The university's announcement came amid increasing fears of antisemitism worldwide and fallout from Israel’s war in Gaza, which faces heightened criticism for the rising Palestinian death toll.

Ono on Tuesday said he has barred students from voting on two “controversial and divisive” resolutions related to the Israel-Hamas war.