“Experimental Estimates of the Impacts of a Study Abroad Program to Israel on Perceptions of Antisemitism and Attitudes about Israel,” by AEN members Mattie Harris, University of Arkansas; Albert Cheng, University of Arkansas; and Jay Greene, The Heritage Foundation, is the third paper in AEN’s Research Paper Series.
Antisemitism continues to be a problem in the United States and worldwide, yet few studies investigate the benefit of educational initiatives that aim to address antisemitism as well as the effectiveness of study abroad programs to Israel. To fill this gap, we conducted a randomized control trial to evaluate the impact of a 10-day study abroad trip to Israel on perceptions of antisemitism and attitudes about Israel. For our experiment, we recruited students from an American public university and educators from across the United States. Students and educators randomly selected to travel to Israel on a study abroad trip received the opportunity to learn about Israeli culture, history, language, and public policy. We found that these students and educators became more aware that antisemitism is a problem in the world. We also found that those who attended the trip developed more positive attitudes towards Israel and Jews.