Holocaust Survivors Urge California Legislators to Oppose Ethnic Studies Bill

AMCHA Initiative:

Santa Cruz, CA, August 12, 2021 – Hundreds of Holocaust survivors and their descendants today urged members of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus to vote against AB 101, a bill mandating an ethnic studies high school graduation requirement.   

“We are Holocaust survivors and the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, who are deeply alarmed by AB 101, the ethnic studies graduation requirement bill, and the likelihood that it will lead to overtly antisemitic curricula making their way into every high school in the state and inciting hatred and hostility towards Jewish students and the Jewish community in California and well beyond.”  

The signatories point out that AB 101 would allow local school districts to use anycurriculum, including the highly controversial and overtly antisemitic first draft of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC).  That draft was roundly rejected by all Jewish communal organizations, Governor Newsom, the State Board of Education, and California’s Jewish Legislative Caucus.  

“Disturbingly, although you worked hard to ensure that the final State Board of Education-approved curriculum was free from antisemitic content, the rejected first draft – including its anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist lessons – was enthusiastically supported by the state’s two largest teachers unions – the California Teachers Association (CTA) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) – as well as dozens of ethnic studies departments on California State University and University of California campuses,” warned the signatories.  

“Even more alarming is that the CTA, UTLA and influential ethnic studies professors on several CSU and UC campuses have warmly endorsed the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute (LESMC), a for-profit organization launched by the original ESMC drafters to market a ‘liberated’ curriculum that incorporates the main elements of the rejected first draft.”

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