Your Action Needed: Advocate for the Safety and Inclusion of All Jews

At the Federation, we aim to foster resilient and secure Jewish communities, where everyone belongs. Below are two simple, yet important actions that you can take to help us achieve that goal.

Action Alert #1: Ask the CA Department of Education for Continued Improvement on the California Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum

Since last year, the Jewish Public Affairs Committee (JPAC) has been advocating for the removal of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic themes in California's draft Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC).

Thanks to these efforts and those of others, the CA Department of Education (CDE) released recommendations for an improved second draft on August 3. However, on August 12 the CDE announced three major changes to the curriculum, mere hours before the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) was set to reconvene. While they removed denigrating content from the initial draft and acknowledged that anti-Semitism is a form of hate, the four requests below show that there is still work to be done in order to ensure the curriculum offers a safe and representative education for all California students.

We ask you to call on the CA Department of Education and the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) to accept and pledge to the following FOUR requests related to the ESMC:

  1. Accurately represent Jewish American experiences and teach about anti-Semitism in all its forms.
  2. Modify the language of the ESMC Guiding Values and Principles to ensure that derogatory language about Jews and Israelis as well as BDS remains out of the curriculum while also creating guardrails in place to keep such language out of the classroom.
  3. Include sample lesson(s) reflecting the diversity of Jewish Americans, including Jewish Americans from the Middle East and North Africa and Jews of Color.
  4. Commit to complete transparency to developing the curriculum.

Send your comment to the IQC before the public comment period ends on September 30.

Action Alert #2: Support Jewish Students at SFSU & Stand Against Hate

We are greatly concerned about the September 23 event at San Francisco State University with panelist Leila Khaled, a member of a designated terrorist organization. While we believe in free speech, we reject the normalization of violence and worry about the physical and psychological safety of Jewish students, Israeli students, and their allies. Yesterday we sent a letter to SF State President Lynn Mahoney expressing our concern.

Please join San Francisco Hillel and the Federation in supporting students at San Francisco State University. SF Hillel has provided the following ways that you can help students and express your concern to the University administration:

Jewish students are valuable members of our community and their safety, inclusion, and engagement are of great importance to us. Thank you for showing them that they matter.

Categories: Community


September 15, 2020