Urge The Leadership of the Massachusetts Teachers Association to Support Jewish Inclusion

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To teachers, parents, students and all Massachusetts taxpayers, 

On December 9, 2023, the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) Board of Directors voted for a New Business Item (NBI) accusing the United States of being “complicit in the ‘Genocidal Assault’ in Gaza” (Daily Wire), and calling for a permanent ceasefire. MTA did not mention Hamas’s October 7th attack on Israel or the hostages that are still being held. The NBI was one-sided. 

The language of the motion that passed is as follows:

“The MTA will join in solidarity with the UAW, CTU, and other labor unions across the country, in calling for an immediate and permanent cease-fire. The MTA President and Vice President  will urge the president of the NEA to pressure President Biden to stop funding and sending  weapons in support of the Netanyahu government’s genocidal war on the Palestinian people in  Gaza.”  

RATIONALE: 

“Over 16,248 Palestinians, largely civilians, including over 7,112 children (as of 12/5/23) have  been brutally killed in Gaza since October 7, 2023; an estimated 1.8 million people have been  internally displaced, and 40,000 (as of 12/2/23) people have been wounded in the U.S.-backed  assault by the Israeli military on schools, hospitals, and humanitarian organizations. As an educators’ union, and people of conscience, we cannot stay silent in the face of the unspeakable  atrocities and human suffering we are witnessing. As an educators’ union, we must take a stand  with our union siblings, and promote peace and justice in the region by calling for an end to our  government’s complicity with Israel’s genocidal assault on the people of Gaza and intent to take over their territory. How many deaths, how many more children must die, before we take a  stand? Silence is complicity.” 

SUBMITTED BY:  

Joe Herosy, Retired 

Deborah Gesualdo, Malden Educators Association – seconds the motion

Since the December 9 MTA statement, Jewish educators and students have experienced increased hostility at their workplaces and schools. Unions like Newton, Sharon, Belmont, Needham, Framingham, Bedford, and Marblehead have made public statements distancing themselves from the MTA on this vote. Teachers and parents from around the state have sent emails to the MTA leadership voicing concerns, yet their emails have been ignored. As a result, Massachusetts Jewish educators and their supporters have come together to discuss the isolation and hostility and demand action.

On January 9, 2024, a group of concerned educators met with Max Page, president of MTA.  At the meeting, Page identified numerous missteps that he and the board made when passing this NBI.

Page admitted that:

1.The MTA does not generally assert itself in geo-global affairs. Page said this was “not the usual thing.”

2. The MTA did not do enough to communicate with members and get input. For the NBI vote, only 34 members voted for it, 11 against it, and approximately 117,000 had no idea the NBI existed. 

3. There was no value to this vote and in hindsight he should have stopped the vote.

4. The MTA  Board of Directors did not take into consideration how their resolution would negatively impact Jewish MTA members and students in the Commonwealth.

In this meeting the concerned educators demanded:

1. A public apology. 

2. A public statement noting that only 34 MTA members voted for this motion, 11 voted against, and that the remaining approximately 117,000 members were not aware of this vote. 

3. A motion to rescind this proposal. 

Since the January 9, 2024 meeting with Page, nothing has been done. Additionally, there is concern regarding new proposed curriculum resources “for learning about the history and current events in Israel and Occupied Palestine” by the MTA. This could potentially undermine Israel and further isolate Jewish educators and students in the Commonwealth. Since this vote was cast in “secrecy,” similar tactics could be used to institute a biased curriculum. 

Teachers, parents, students, and taxpayers in the Commonwealth need to be aware of the divisive proposal and that the MTA is “voting” on policies that are not in the best interest of all Massachusetts teachers and students.  

Sincerely, 

Concerned Massachusetts Teachers, Students, Parents, and Allies

Please add your name to support this critical cause: 

~The MTA must meet the demands listed above.

~The MTA must have equitable representation, accountability, and transparency in any and all curriculum/projects they are proposing to implement.  

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Enter your information below and send a message to MTA Leadership.

  • To the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Teachers Union:

    On December 9, 2023, the Massachusetts Teachers Association Board of Directors voted for a New Business Item (NBI) accusing the United States of being “complicit in the ‘Genocidal Assault’ in Gaza” (Daily Wire), and calling for a permanent ceasefire. MTA did not mention Hamas’s October 7th attack on Israel or the hostages that are still being held. The NBI was one-sided.

    Since the December 9 MTA statement, Jewish educators and students have experienced increased hostility at their workplaces and schools. Unions like Newton, Sharon, Belmont, Needham, Framingham, Bedford, and Marblehead have made public statements distancing themselves from the MTA on this vote. Teachers and parents from around the state have sent emails to the MTA leadership voicing concerns, yet their emails have been ignored.

    On January 9, 2024, a group of concerned educators met with Max Page, president of MTA. At the meeting, Page identified numerous missteps that he and the board made when passing this NBI.

    Page admitted that:
    1. The MTA does not generally assert itself in geo-global affairs. Page said this was “not the usual thing.”
    2. The MTA did not do enough to communicate with members and get input. For the NBI vote, only 34 members voted for it, 11 against it, and approximately 117,000 had no idea the NBI existed.
    3. There was no value to this vote and in hindsight he should have stopped the vote.
    4. The MTA Board of Directors did not take into consideration how their resolution would negatively impact Jewish MTA members and students in the Commonwealth.

    In this meeting, the concerned educators demanded:
    1. A public apology.
    2. A public statement noting that only 34 MTA members voted for this motion, 11 voted against, and that the remaining approximately 117,000 members were not aware of this vote.
    3. A motion to rescind this proposal. Since the January 9, 2024 meeting with Page, nothing has been done. Additionally, there is concern regarding new proposed curriculum resources “for learning about the history and current events in Israel and Occupied Palestine” by the MTA. This could potentially undermine Israel and further isolate Jewish educators and students in the Commonwealth. This vote was cast in “secrecy,” and we believe that similar tactics will be used to institute a biased curriculum that the majority of MTA members will not have any input on.

    We demand that the NBI of December 9 be rescinded and no further action be made to develop any curriculum or teacher resources on “current events in Israel and Occupied Palestine” by the MTA. This is not a union concern.

    Sincerely,