At some point we all need to stand for something. For me it is fighting the dangerous increase in Anti-Semitism. I believe this is an issue that directly effects all members of the JMA and their families.
This email was sent to me recently from StandWithUs and I just could not ignore it. The language that is being proposed to teach children in California about Israel, Arabs, Jews and Diversity is so skewed that I had to speak out. More I felt it a mitzvah to inform other JMA members about this issue.
Not only does this effect children in California (should it pass as is), but it could be used by other States as a model.
Please read the entire message and take action if you are so inclined.
The State of California is currently reviewing a model Ethnic Studies curriculum, which openly promotes hateful boycotts against Israel and omits antisemitism as a form of bigotry. Disturbingly, this agenda was inserted into an educational effort meant to teach students about marginalized communities. Moreover, despite its stated purpose, the proposed curriculum includes no lessons about Jews as a sizable ethnic minority and frequent target of racism.
THE TIME FOR YOU TO SPEAK UP IS NOW.
California residents have until August 15th to voice concerns, so please submit respectful comments before the deadline and share this alert with other people in California. We especially encourage parents, high school students, and educators to comment and share how this model curriculum will impact them personally. To submit feedback about the curriculum, follow these steps:
Download the public input form here.
Fill out the form, respectfully requesting the removal of BDS and other anti-Israel bias from the model curriculum.
Add a general comment to the form urging the state to add lessons about American Jews as an ethnic group, including those who fled the Holocaust, oppression in the Middle East, and discrimination in the former Soviet Union.
Email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Attack the officials working on this or any other community covered in the curriculum, including but not limited to Arabs, Muslims, or Palestinians
Keep your comments respectful and focused on the issues outlined below.
Emphasize the value of inclusion and how BDS promotes hate and division.
If you are a parent, student, or educator, share how the current draft of the curriculum will personally impact you.
Examples of bias in the proposed curriculum:
A glossary for the curriculum includes a definition of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel. It claims the purpose of BDS is to, "establish freedom for Palestinians living under apartheid conditions". It then parrots more BDS talking points while offering no critical perspectives about this campaign of hate, which seeks to end Israel's existence.
The sample lesson plans for the curriculum:
Encourage teachers to highlight BDS and a pro-BDS group called Direct Action for Palestine, but no voices critical of their perspectives (p. 234).
Promote a false equivalence between Israel's efforts to stop terrorists from entering communities to murder innocent people, and U.S. policies on the border with Mexico (p. 234).
Use unclear language that implies "Israel-Palestine" as a whole is an Arab country (p. 237).
Frame the Palestinian narrative of the 1948 War as fact, with no alternative perspectives (p. 242).
Encourage teachers to use a poem featuring harsh criticism of Israel, but no content offering a positive perspective about Israel or criticism of Palestinian leaders (p. 256, 264-269).
The Introduction of the proposed curriculum states that, "The implementation of Ethnic Studies presents an opportunity for teachers to... enable students to develop a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and inclusion, and aids in the eradication of bigotry, hate, and racism." Despite this stated goal, the curriculum does not feature a single lesson about the Jewish community, mentioning Jews only in passing. With antisemitism rising and ignorance about the Jewish people still a major problem in our society, the exclusion of Jews from this curriculum is deeply disappointing. Learn More About StandWithUs