SWC: California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Addresses Most Critical Concerns Raised by Jewish Community; No Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Content
March 18, 2021
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center, like the majority of Jewish community leaders and organizations, is encouraged that the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum released today does not include any content that is, or can be perceived as, anti-Semitic or anti-Israel,” said Rabbi Meyer H. May, the Center’s Executive Director. “While we remain concerned regarding some of the finer details of the curriculum, the consensus in the Jewish community is that the curriculum addresses the most critical concerns raised by our community.”
The Center thanks Governor Gavin Newsom for his leadership and work on ensuring that the issues raised by the Jewish community regarding the curriculum would be largely addressed-- that it would strive to achieve balance and fairness and be inclusive of all communities. The Center agrees with the Governor that in California, we don't tolerate our diversity. We celebrate it! And that balance must be appropriately reflected in our high school curriculum.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center especially applauds the focused efforts of our own Senator Ben Allen (D - Santa Monica), former Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, Assembly member Jesse Gabriel (D - Encino), the current Chair of the Jewish Caucus and Vice-Chair, Senator Scott Wiener (D - San Francisco), to remove and keep out any content that was anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. “Senator Allen’s intensive and successful efforts during last year’s Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) meetings, to block those committed to enshrine hate against the Jewish community or Israel into the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum, cannot be overstated,” said Rabbi May.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls upon Superintendent Tony Thurmond to ensure that the curriculum remains free from inappropriate bias and will continue to work with him and Jewish community organizations to ensure that the gains addressing the Jewish communal concerns, that were so brilliantly fought for by Senator Allen, Assembly member Gabriel, Senator Wiener and the Members of the Jewish Caucus be rigorously implemented throughout the state.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).