I was reading this article for a class that I thought I'd share with y'all. There's been a lot of talk on campus about the divide between in-staters and out-of-staters, and whether some of the resentment of "coasties" is tied to antisemitism. I can't find the article I'm reading online, but the author, Jonathan Pollack, has done a lot of research on the Jewish community in Wisconsin and even commented on the recent "Coastie Song" that came out during the winter.
What is interesting is that UW a land grant college in a state with a relatively low percentage of Jews has had a vibrant Jewish community since the early 20th century. In fact, when Ivy League schools began to implement quotas, many East Coast Jews saw UW as a tolerant alternative. By 1930, ten percent of the student population was Jewish, but Jewish students nevertheless faced housing discrimination and were often the target of public attacks in the campus press and even among the faculty. The stereotypes and euphemisms are strikingly familiar to the ones you hear on campus today, but what was especially interesting was the tension between East Coast Jews and Midwestern Jews, many of whom felt the former were jeopardizing their chances at assimilating:
As hundreds of Jewish students from New York and other cities of the East Coast came to Madison to pursue higher education, their Midwestern Jewish cohorts welcomed them with a mixture of fellowship and fear. Under the pressure of antisemitism from outside the community, friendly jokes and stereotypes about manners, accents, and attitude acquired a sharper edge that has characterized regional differences among American Jews on college campuses to the present day.
The following year, opposing the "New York Jews" became a rallying cry against radicalism in the elections for editor of the campus Daily Cardinal newspaper. In 1938, outgoing editor Morton Newman, who had written strongly anti-fascist editorials for the Cardinal, appointed Richard Davis as his successor. Both men were political radicals who were also New York Jews. When the conservative student-faculty board that oversaw the Cardinal overruled Newman's choice, Jewish students sympathetic to the Left on campus claimed that antisemitism had flared up once again. Faculty advisors to the Cardinal were quoted as saying, "It's time the American kids on this campus were given a chance," and "You Jewish kids have had everything your own way; why do you keep asking for more?"