California - Week of March 11
ICAN STAFFER MEMO

Produced by Esther Ravid

Executive Councilmember
Los Angeles, California

Combating Antisemitism in California's Public Schools
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PROMOTING JEWISH SAFETY & INCLUSION

  • Welcome Letter
  • Introducing ICAN
  • Combating Antisemitism Summit for California Schools
  • Video: What is Antisemitism?
  • News & Updates
  • Legislation & Policy Tracker

WELCOME LETTER

Hello, I’m Esther Ravid, an ICAN Executive Council Member. I’m also a proud resident of California, a wife and mother with children in public schools, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) veteran, and I also served as a staffer for an elected official. In fact, I am one of the few Israeli-Americans and IDF veterans to have ever served as a staffer, proudly serving in the district office of a U.S. Congressman from California.

Now, as a leader at ICAN, I am excited to share with you the first edition of our Staffer Memo, providing you with valuable information and insights about our community’s issues and advocacy. If you have any questions or need further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Esther@IsraelUSA.org.

Sincerely, 

Esther Ravid
ICAN California
Executive Councilmember

INTRODUCING ICAN: THE ISRAELI-AMERICAN CIVIC ACTION NETWORK

The Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) is a new organization dedicated to empowering Israeli-American immigrants and pro-Israel Americans, focusing on a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and building bridges between the U.S. and Israel at every level of government.

Given California’s significant Israeli immigrant population—the largest outside of Israel—ICAN’s initiatives across the state are especially crucial.

ICAN is committed to being a valuable resource for executive and legislative staff, focusing on key issues such as promoting Jewish safety and inclusion in public schools, expanding access to Holocaust education, combating antisemitism and hate, and promoting economic and cultural exchanges between California and Israel. We invite staffers to engage with ICAN as we work together to address these critical issues and foster a stronger, more inclusive California.

Learn more about ICAN here.

COMBATING ANTISEMITISM SUMMIT

On February 28, 2024, the Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN), in collaboration with key organizations, hosted a pivotal summit addressing the rise of antisemitism in California’s public schools. This event brought together Jewish students, parents, educators, and bipartisan members of the California Legislature and appointed officials from the Newsom Administration to share firsthand experiences and discuss urgent reforms.

The summit underscored the need for mandatory antisemitism education, improved reporting mechanisms, and the inclusion of Jewish heritage in school curricula to foster a safe and inclusive educational environment.

Watch below, and read more here.

Very special thank you to Senators Stern, Wiener, and Ochoa Bogh, Assemblymember Marc Berman, and Commissioner Brian Levin!

VIDEO: LAUSD H.S. Students WALK OUT

Students held a walkout in Woodland Hills in response to a rise in antisemitic incidents and an alleged assault to one of their Jewish students earlier this month. Tracey Leong reports for the NBC4 News on Feb. 27, 2024. Watch below from NBC LA, and read more here from the L.A. Times.

VIDEO: What Is Antisemitism?

Antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews. In the United States, antisemitic incidents hit an all-time high in 2021. Hatred of Jews can take many forms, including violent attacks. It also appears in daily life. Do you know how to recognize it online, in social media, or in conversation?

News & Updates

Teachers union drops support for LAUSD candidate, citing offensive social media activity
March 4, 2024 | L.A. Times
United Teachers Los Angeles on Monday night rescinded its endorsement of school board candidate Kahllid Al-Alim in the wake of revelations that he reposted or “liked” social media posts with content that was antisemitic, pro-gun or pornographic.

California public school denies imposing gag order on students told: ‘Israelis, Jews should be killed’
October 25, 2023 | JNS Jewish News Service
The Manhattan Beach Middle School, a public school in California, is denying that it asked four Jewish students, all age 11, who were allegedly told “all Israelis and Jews should be killed” by a classmate to sign gag orders.

Jewish parents call for protection, sensitivity for their children in Los Angeles schools
November 14, 2023 | L.A. Times
Jewish parents stepped forward on Tuesday to call on the Los Angeles Board of Education to take concrete steps to prevent antisemitism on local campuses, echoing a call for sensitivity and understanding that Muslim parents made several weeks earlier.

California’s Push for Ethnic Studies Runs Into the Israel-Hamas War
February 15, 2024 | New York Times
California has grand ambitions for ethnic studies. By 2025, the state’s public high schools — about 1,600 of them — must teach the subject. By 2030, students won’t be able to graduate high school without it.

Legislation & Policy Tracker

CA S.B.1421: Educational equity: Uniform Complaint Procedures: Office of Civil Rights

Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and implement a system of complaint processing, known as the Uniform Complaint Procedures, for specified educational programs, and requires the State Department of Education to review those regulations pertaining to uniform complaint procedures for specified types of complaints, including those that allege unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against any protected group, as provided. Existing law requires the department to, on or before March 31, 2019, commence rulemaking proceedings to revise those regulations, as necessary, to conform to specified provisions.

This bill would require the department to establish the Office of Civil Rights within the department to (1) receive and investigate these complaints reported pursuant to the uniform complaint procedures that allege unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, as specified, (2) assume the department’s duties as it pertains to these complaints, as provided, (3) develop procedures to optimize complaint reporting and response, (4) report to the department on the frequency of incidents of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying at school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, (5) advise the department on the office’s investigations, and (6) provide other recommendations to the department, as specified.

Position: Support | Session: 2023-2024
Primary Sponsor: Henry Stern (CA-SEN) | Read The Bill

CA S.B.1277: Pupil instruction: genocide education: the Holocaust.

Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish and implement a system of complaint processing, known as the Uniform Complaint Procedures, for specified educational programs, and requires the State Department of Education to review those regulations pertaining to uniform complaint procedures for specified types of complaints, including those that allege unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying against any protected group, as provided. Existing law requires the department to, on or before March 31, 2019, commence rulemaking proceedings to revise those regulations, as necessary, to conform to specified provisions.

This bill would require the department to establish the Office of Civil Rights within the department to (1) receive and investigate these complaints reported pursuant to the uniform complaint procedures that allege unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, as specified, (2) assume the department’s duties as it pertains to these complaints, as provided, (3) develop procedures to optimize complaint reporting and response, (4) report to the department on the frequency of incidents of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying at school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, (5) advise the department on the office’s investigations, and (6) provide other recommendations to the department, as specified.

Position: Support | Session: 2023-2024
Primary Sponsor: Henry Stern (CA-SEN) | Read The Bill

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