California Jewish Students, Parents, and Teachers to Host “Community Hearing” on Antisemitism in Public Schools

Los Angeles, CA – In response to the alarming rise in antisemitism in K-12 schools, California Jewish students, parents, and teachers are coming together to host a “Community Hearing” on Antisemitism in Public Schools. 

This virtual event is organized by the Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, ClubZ, JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa), the Combat Antisemitism Movement, the Jewish Federation of Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values, and the Deborah Project. Scheduled for Wednesday, February 28th, at 8:00 pm PST, the Summit will be broadcast live on X, YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

This is the first time since the October 7th terrorist attack in Israel that California Jewish students, parents, and educators will be given a platform to speak directly to policymakers and have their voices heard.

The need for a “Community Hearing” has never been more urgent, as incidents of violence and hate targeting Californians of Israeli and Jewish descent are surging, even in our public schools. This worrying trend affects not only Jewish students but also parents and teachers, demanding immediate attention. 

Recent incidents underscoring the severity of this issue include:

  • A “pro-Palestinian teach-in” at Oakland schools raised concerns among parents for its one-sided narrative and likelihood of inciting antisemitism (Source: CBS News).
  • Two LA charter school teachers were removed for teaching first graders about “genocide in Palestine,” sparking outrage and accusations of promoting an antisemitic agenda (Source: New York Post).
  • A California public school was accused of imposing a gag order on students after they were told Israelis and Jews should be killed, highlighting the severity of antisemitic rhetoric in educational settings (Source: JNS).

The “Community Hearing” format of the event empowers students, parents, and educators from the American Jewish, Israeli-American, and other immigrant Jewish communities to share their firsthand experiences with antisemitism in public schools. State officials and educational leaders are invited to listen to these testimonies and engage in a meaningful dialogue with the speakers.

In conjunction with this hearing, we are advocating for five key policy priorities to address and combat antisemitism effectively:

  1. Mandatory antisemitism education and training for all school staff and students.
  2. Implementation of robust reporting mechanisms for hate incidents.
  3. Establishment of clear protocols for responding to antisemitic incidents.
  4. Inclusion of Jewish history and contributions in the curriculum.
  5. Promotion of a school culture that celebrates diversity and inclusivity.

We invite concerned Californians to join us in this critical “Citizen Hearing” to shed light on the issue of antisemitism in our schools and to work towards a safer and more inclusive educational environment for all. Together, we can make a difference in combating hate and ensuring a brighter future for our children.

For more information and to register for the event, please visit Combating Antisemitism Summit for California Schools.

Note: an earlier version of this post had used the term “Citizen Hearing.” We have changed the term to better reflect all of our Jewish immigrant communities.