A proposed “ethnic studies” curriculum in California is being praised by Jewish leaders for reflecting changes they demanded but not everyone is singing their praises.
The Jewish Journal reports some prominent Jewish groups are praising the California Board of Education for making changes in the controversial Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum such as including two lessons on Jewish-Americans, defining anti-Semitism, and dropping the topic of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin of AMCHA says the lessons on Jews are completely unacceptable.
"It's not right to take something like this and to think that you can actually put a lesson on Jews, a lesson about anti-Semitism, and have it come out as you want it to come out,” she warns. “It's going to come out twisted."
The updated curriculum was unanimously approved by the state Board of Education on March 18.
The executive director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Meyer May, praised the curriculum for leaving out language that is “anti-Semitic or anti-Israel,” but said there is concern about the “finer details” in the classroom lessons.
Two state lawmakers, both Jews, also praised the changes as well as the executive director of a Jewish community relations council based in San Franciso, Jewish Journal reported.
The news publication states the group StandWithUs is “disappointed” in the final draft and the story also quotes Rossman-Benjamin condemning it, too.
She tells One News Now there is evidence that the curriculum, while controversial, has no benefit for students.
"According to a study,” she says, “it has not been shown to have any academic or educational benefits at all."