San Diego

Jewish advocacy groups call for measures to combat antisemitism in San Diego schools

“I’ve obtained complaints of lesson plans or classroom actions which have people occupied with the ways in which Jews had been someway accountable for the Holocaust.”

SAN DIEGO — Jewish advocacy groups are calling on the San Diego Unified School District to embrace antisemitism in its efforts to educate college students about fairness and inclusiveness. They introduced a decision at Tuesday evening’s board meeting asking the district to replace its ethnic research curriculum.

News 8’s LaMonica Peters spoke with the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federation about why they consider it’s crucial.

The groups say after a latest rise in antisemitism and a number of incidents on campuses throughout San Diego, now could be the time to converse up and be proactive about antisemitism in native schools. 

The American Jewish Committee released a report this week highlighting that in the final year, 41% of Americans say they’ve witnessed an anti-Semitic incident and 24% of American Jews say they’ve been victims of antisemitism. 

“I have received complaints of lesson plans or classroom activities that have folks thinking about the ways that Jews were somehow responsible for the Holocaust,” said Education Director Kelsey Greenberg Young with the Anti-Defamation League. “I have reports of students being shoved into lockers and being told to get in the gas chambers.”   

The Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Federation, and the San Diego Rabbinical Assoc. partnered to current a Resolution to San Diego Unified’s Board, asking that antisemitism be included in all ethnic research schooling. 

“Almost 60% of all hate crimes in the United States last year were committed against Jews. So, it is really an issue,” mentioned Heidi Gantwerk, Jewish Federation of San Diego County Interim President & CEO.

During Tuesday’s Board meeting, public feedback had been allowed on the decision. Some individuals supported the decision whereas others opposed it. 

“Just this week I had to deal with and take down posters labeling Jews ‘colonizers,’ comparing the Israel-Palestine conflict to the genocide of Native Americans,” mentioned Jake Zubkoff, who supported the decision. 

Opposing the decision, Jamal Kanj mentioned, “Antisemitism is a serious matter and it must be confronted. SDUSD cannot however do that by working with proven Islamophobic organizations unless you plan to supplant antisemitism with Islamophobias and ignore the rights of your Muslim pupils.”

San Diego Unified’s Board voted to approve the decision however with two gadgets eliminated. Board President Richard Barrera requested for these two gadgets to be amended in the decision:

1) WHEREAS, SDUSD operates a sturdy ethnic research program, looking for to acknowledge the unbelievable contributions of minority communities and to promote cultural inclusion; 

Barrera didn’t consider the decision must be included in ethnic research schooling. 

2) BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education helps balanced and open classroom dialogue, together with the usage of unbiased and politically impartial supplies on points just like the Israeli-Palestinian battle, as laid out in BP 6144 Controversial Issues, whereas condemning content material that delegitimizes the best of any individuals, together with Jews and Palestinians, to self-determination. 

Barrera didn’t consider the district had the capability to correctly practice lecturers how to talk about the advanced Israeli-Palestinian battle for college students in a classroom setting. 

WATCH RELATED: California to make ethnic research a commencement requirement 

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