(November 19th, 2020 -- Los Angeles, CA) -- StandWithUs is encouraged by revisions to California's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), which were approved on November 18th and 19th by the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC).
The IQC adopted multiple recommendations submitted by StandWithUs. Those changes include the removal of a widely criticized lesson which framed the Jewish community has having "gained racial privilege," while ignoring antisemitism and white supremacist violence against Jews. We look forward to submitting further recommendations during the next public review period.
"Positive changes were made to include Jews and add safeguards against hate and bias in the curriculum," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "While the curriculum is headed in the right direction, there are still key changes we all have to fight for. Among the most important is a strong definition of antisemitism in all its forms, rather than a weak definition that caters to the biases of anti-Israel extremists."
The IQC meeting included two hours of public comment on November 18th, with members of the public calling in. Numerous Jewish students spoke, stressing the importance of educating about all forms of antisemitism and the diversity of the Jewish community. Meanwhile, anti-Israel commenters smeared Jewish groups, equated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the Holocaust, and opposed efforts to make the curriculum more balanced and inclusive. Their hatred and ignorance showed exactly why the ESMC must include a strong definition of antisemitism.
The California Department of Education (CDE) is expected to post the next draft of the curriculum for public review in December. StandWithUs will continue to work with students, parents, concerned citizens, and partner organizations across California to improve the ESMC.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on 5 continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.
For the last 7 years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum).
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