Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism

Pears Foundation and the Pears Institute have built an open and productive partnership, based on mutual respect and trust. This enables the Institute to pursue challenging objectives and so contributes to its international reputation as a centre of academic excellence and policy advice. Pears Foundation understands the need for the Institute to have academic independence and is exemplary in this regard: the Foundation stands back, yet is immensely supportive of the Institute’s work.
Professor David Feldman, Director, Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism
It is our belief that in the study of antisemitism and its roots and evolution we will learn lessons that will grow our understanding of other forms of prejudice. What David and the team have done in such a short time is build a framework to discuss difficult and complex issues, always connecting the academic to the practical.
Trevor Pears CMG

The Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism was launched in 2010, on the founding principal that the study of antisemitism is critical to the understanding of all forms of racism, prejudice and xenophobia. It is a part of Birkbeck, University of London, a world-renowned research and teaching institution in London.

Led by Professor David Feldman, the Institute has three aims:

  • Research: The Institute has become an internationally recognised centre for research, setting antisemitism within a wider context of Jewish-non-Jewish relations and as part of the broader phenomenon of religious and racial intolerance.
  • Educate: The growing team provide teaching on antisemitism and all aspects of racism and religious intolerance.
  • Engage: The Pears Institute is a respected source of independent advice and dialogue for policymakers. It holds seminars to promote the exchange of ideas between scholars and hosts open public lectures though the year.

The Institute is committed to promoting a wider, interdisciplinary understanding of antisemitism. Events embracing history, politics, sociology, literature and law are attended by over 1,000 people every year.

Like other higher education programmes funded by Pears Foundation, the Institute’s approach is to engage in issues in a way that is both academically rigorous and intellectually inclusive. It has created a space in which complex and controversial issues can be explored and its work bridges the gap between the vital academic understanding of these issues and the practical application of the findings in a real-world setting.

Despite the historical and contemporary significance of antisemitism, the Pears Institute is the only academic centre in the UK, and one of just two in Europe, whose mission is to promote understanding of antisemitism.

The Institute is one of a number of endeavours supported by Pears Foundation with a view to educating and engaging the British public in key discussions about identity, race and the challenges of a multicultural society.