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In light of increasing acts of race-based hatred and violence locally and worldwide, Smith College has compiled this page to make explicit the college’s anti-discriminatory policies related to race, religion, national origin, and shared ancestry as applied to antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Outlets on Campus

Smith provides many outlets for community members to learn about antisemitism and Islamophobia and address related discrimination.

Learn

Students can take advantage of Smith courses that help further understanding of the context in which the current conflict in Israel and Palestine is occurring, offered by departments that include anthropology, government, history, Jewish studies, Middle East studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, world literatures, and others.

Other programming for the spring 2024 semester is being planned and will be added as developed. 

Fall 2024 (TBD)
Vijay Prashad will speak on his view that “The Global South Stands With Palestine.”

 

April 18, 2024
Smith’s Center for Religious and Spiritual Life will host a Generating Justice vigil for discussion about the webinars held on April 16 and 17.

April 16, 2024
Rachel Rubinstein will speak about “The Many Faces of Antisemitism.” Open to the Smith College community only; registration required.

April 15, 2024
In this virtual interview with Palestinian journalist Plestia Alaqad, we will listen to her recount her experience as a journalist and a writer. There will be an opportunity to submit questions before and during the event. This will be a free event that is open to the public; all Northampton community members are welcome to join, as well as Five College students. Seating is limited to 354 people, so it will be on a first come, first-served basis.

April 11–12, 2024
“Conversations Beyond the Headlines: Palestine and Israel”
The Kahn Institute and project organizers Justin Cammy (professor of Jewish studies and of world literatures) and Suleiman Mourad (professor of religion and Middle East studies) welcome faculty participation in a conversation that takes us beyond headlines and social media to consider the contexts and complexities that sparked the current war between Israel and Hamas and their effects in the classroom and on campus.

April 5, 2024
The National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) conducted a one-day leadership for equity and inclusion workshop that was a highly participatory experience in which learners engaged in self-reflection, sharing of personal experience, conversation in small groups, and skill development. Workshop attendees were also invited to attend an additional three-day learning experience after Commencement. The NCBI is an international nonprofit leadership development network dedicated to the elimination of racism and other forms of oppression.

February 27, 2024
The Smith community gathered with Muslim Religious Advisor Kim Alston and Chaplain Matilda Cantwell for students of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) backgrounds to discuss current issues. 

February 15, 2024
Smith’s on-campus community was invited to join a conversation between Justin Cammy, Professor of Jewish Studies and World Literatures, and Suleiman Ali Mourad, Myra M. Sampson Professor of Religion, and moderated by Darcy Buerkle, Professor of History, in which they explored antisemitism and anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice. This event was held on Thursday, February 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall.

February 8, 2024
The Smith community was invited to a Generating Justice and Joy gathering on February 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Helen Hills Chapel. All were invited to join the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and President Sarah Willie-Lebreton, along with the Office for Equity and Inclusion, to “break bread” together. A wholesome and delicious hot meal (vegetarian with DF and GF options) will be served as we grapple with violence in the Middle East and beyond, sharing in our common humanity and collective hopes for a better world.

Report

What to do if you learn about or experience an act of antisemitism or anti-Muslim or anti-Arab racism: 

  • If you have concerns regarding physical safety, call Campus Safety at 413-585-5555.
  • Report acts of antisemitism or Islamophobia to Campus Safety at 413-585-5555 or the Northampton Police Department at 413-587-1100. 
  • Report violations of college policies by contacting Martha Alexander, Director of Non-Discrimination Initiatives and Title IX Coordinator.
  • Report acts of discrimination through Ethicspoint.

Find Support

Center for Religious & Spiritual Life:

Matilda Cantwell, Director of Religious & Spiritual Life and College Chaplain
Rabbi Bruce Bromberg Seltzer, Interim Jewish Student Adviser
Kim Alston, Muslim Student Adviser and Program and Communications Manager

Students can reach out to Counseling Services.

Employees can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

A weekly supportive space is provided on Wednesdays from 12–1:30 p.m. in Helen Hills Hills Chapel Bodman Lounge for Jewish students to explore Israel/Palestine and react to the current climate, facilitated by Interim Jewish Student Advisor Rabbi Bruce Bromberg Seltzer (please be in touch to join this group).

Every Friday, Spring 2024
Jummah, 12:30 p.m., Off Campus
The CRSL invites students to join us for Jummah at the Hampshire Mosque in Hadley. The group will meet in front of the Helen Hills Hills Chapel at 12:25 pm. The van will leave campus by 12:30 pm and return to campus no later than 2:30 pm. Remember to bring a prayer rug and complete your ablution beforehand. There are extra prayer rugs in the Blue Room, if you need one! Sponsored by the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. To RSVP, email crsl@smith.edu.

SCJC Shabbat, 5:30 p.m., Kosher Kitchen, Jordan House
Celebrate Shabbat with Smith College’s Jewish Community every Friday evening. Please email scjc@smith.edu for more information. All students are welcome.

Monday, April 22
Smith Passover Seder, 5:30 p.m., Helen Hills Hills Chapel
SCJC students and Rabbi Bruce are leading a community Passover seder.

Our Principles and Addressing Conflict

Over the course of the fall 2023 semester, President Sarah Willie-LeBreton has written multiple letters affirming five key principles of the college with respect to preventing, stopping, and redressing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination on campus:

Some acts of antisemitism and Islamophobia are also crimes or violations of civil laws. Smith College strictly prohibits all forms of antisemitism and Islamophobia. 

Antisemitism includes acts of violence, discrimination, harassment, and hatred against a person or persons who are, or who are perceived to be, of the Jewish faith or ethnically Jewish.
Islamophobia and anti-Arab bias include acts of violence, discrimination, harassment, and hatred of Muslims and Arabs and those perceived to be Muslims or Arabs.