Despite hearing from nearly 70 rabbis, more than 1,000 California residents, and 75 religious and civil rights organizations about how AB 101, the bill requiring ethnic studies for high school graduation, will enable the rejected and highly anti-Semitic original Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) into California classrooms (Erasing Years of Work, California Bill Revives Anti-Semitic Ethnic Studies Curriculum), every Jewish Caucus member supported the bill in the Assembly vote. Thousands of California voters today said that’s not okay and demanded the legislators use their final chance to stand up for Jewish students and the Jewish community when the bill comes before the Senate.
The petitioners pointed out that alarming new developments raise the stakes even further, including skyrocketing anti-Zionist-motivated anti-Semitism; California school districts committing to adopt the original anti-Semitic draft; and the two largest teachers unions in the state and several University of California ethnic studies departments, essentially those responsible for training the high school teachers, endorsing BDS.
We were “deeply disappointed that not only did every Legislative Jewish Caucus Assemblymember vote in favor of AB 101, but Caucus Chair Jesse Gabriel even made a speech on the Assembly floor that spoke about the bill in glowing terms and belittled concerns about antisemitism that were shared by a non-Jewish Assemblymember,” wrote the petitioners.
“Anyone who understands the threats that are currently facing the Jewish community can understand why AB 101, as well-intentioned as it may be, will unleash a torrent of anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist sentiment, hostility, and aggression into classrooms throughout the state if it becomes law. The vast majority of California Jews understand this. As the CA Senate stands poised to vote on AB 101, please stand up and oppose this bill. There is still time to do the right thing,” urged the petitioners.
The full petition can be seen here.