Jews for the Inclusion of Arab-American Studies in Ethnic Studies

We write as Jews from across California and around the country who look forward to California adopting an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) which includes Arab American studies.

We strongly oppose attempts by those in the Jewish community, including Jewish legislators, to falsely charge antisemitism and anti-Jewish bias in order to block the inclusion of Arab-American studies including information on Palestine. Our understanding of the importance of including Arab-American studies is strengthened by our own experiences with antisemitism, and with being considered “other” for centuries by the dominant culture in various countries.

We have chosen to share with you an editorial in support of our position written by the Rabbi Dev Noily and Music Director Shulamit Wise Fairman of Kehilla Synagogue on Ohlone territory of Huchuin, in Piedmont, CA.It articulates beautifully why it is in the interest of the American Jewish community to support the draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum:

As Jews in the United States, our safety is bound up with the safety of all those oppressed by white nationalism and white supremacy. Knowledge is power, and the teaching of Ethnic Studies makes us all safer. We urge the CA Dept of Education to adopt the ESMC with the inclusion of Arab-American studies and sample lesson plans on both Palestinian history and the current situation.

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