"Understanding the California Ethnic Studies Curriculum" talk by the Jewish activist community

Community round table by Jesse Gabriel (chair of the CA Jewish caucus), Shekhina Larks (Jew of Color), Sarah Levin (Executive Director for JIMENA, Jews Indigenous to the Middle East....).

Said they did a great job. Removed anti-semitic content from the first draft (quotes about throwing Jews to the sea, quotes about Jewish money, project on boycotting Israel). Raised attention about extremist ideology embedded in the draft. Got anti-semitism included. And first reference to sehardic Jews in the California curriulum

Gabriel noted his colleagues in other racial caucuses feel very strongly about ethnic studies and don't understand how anyone can oppose them. This is seen as a natural outgrowth of the civil rights movement. Coming to a school district with a draft saying this is a way to fight for social justice is a very easy sell. So need to do a lot of education work both at the state and local level.

Larks noted that the point of ethnic studies is supposed to be to talk about the diverstiy within communities. But instead it often serves to essentialize groups into a single history. So its important to say include the Great Migration. Or act like all blacks are Christian. For the Jewish community it is easy to ignore intermarriage and that through it many "people of color" are now part of the Jewish community. Some conflating of sephardic Jews with "people of color"

Sarah Levin said they mobilized early to not include Sephardic Jews in the curriculum but to also work with/include other minority groups from the MIddle East (Assyrians, Armenians, Coptic Christians). Wanted to include Jews in the Asian section. And then have a joint lesson with anti-semitism and Islamophabia. Instead, won a section on "Antisemitism and Jewish Middle Eastern Americans." Tried to include lessons that would speak for all Jews and not just Jews from the Middle East.