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October 06, 2005 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-10-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

World

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The World!

Textbook Revoked

Mid
Century
Vases

California rejects textbook for
biases against Jews and Hindus.

Sue Fishkoff

gions are presented without criti-
cal comment, while the essential
event of Judaism is subjected to a
historical analysis that can only
Sacramento, Calif.
n a surprise move, an advisory be described as disdainful and
highly subjective,' Gershwin testi-
body to California's board of
education rejected a sixth-
fied.
One Hindu speaker pointed to a
grade history program that Hindu
chapter called "Where's the Beef?"
and Jewish groups blasted as
and said it offended him to have
biased, erroneous and culturally
his faith presented "in the manner
derogatory.
of an outdated television ad:'
During a two-day hearing last
Following the public criticism,
week before the state's curriculum
14 commissioners voted Sept. 30
development and supplemental
against adopting the Oxford mate-
materials commission, Jewish
rials, and one commissioner
critics lambasted the Oxford
abstained. The rejection came as a
University Press textbook and
surprise because a special review
related materials for subjecting
committee had recommended
early Jewish history to a more
adoption.
rigid standard of proof than
California has mandated the
Christian or Muslim history; for
study of religion since 1985.
including stories that have tradi-
Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism
tionally fomented anti-Semitism;
and for misstating key concepts of and Hinduism are studied in sixth
grade, and Islam is covered in
Judaism, presenting it as a reli-
seventh grade.
gion of reward and punishment
Although Jewish groups picked
rather than one of social justice
out
Oxford's materials as the most
and morality.
egregious,
none of the publishers
The rejection was a major upset
escaped
criticism.
Jackie Berman,
for the prestigious publishing
educational
consultant
for the San
company, which for the first time
Francisco
Jewish
Community
was trying to enter the lucrative
Relations Council, along
California market for
with
policy analyst Susan
teaching materials for
Mogul!,
spent the last few
kindergarten through
months
poring
over all
eighth grade.
the
offerings.
David Gershwin of the
They sent extensive
Jewish Federation of
reviews
of the proposed
Greater Los Angeles said
materials
to state com-
the Oxford text notes
missioners
in late
there is no historical
Jackie Berman
August. Their reviews
record of the Exodus — a
said "many of the texts contain
caveat not included in
descriptions of the seminal events narrations of the Crucifixion that
blame or clearly implicate the
of other faiths — it incorrectly
Jews, presentations of the parable
states that the story is important
of the Good Samaritan that iden-
to Jews mainly as a way to set
tify uncaring passers-by as Jews,
themselves off from other people.
and Paul as a persecutor of
When Jewish groups asked
Christians when he was the
Oxford to change that passage to
Jewish Saul — all of these have
reflect the importance of the
been used throughout history as a
Exodus as a story of national and
means of implanting anti-
personal liberation, they were
Semitism in young minds." ❑
rebuffed.
"It is difficult for us to compre-
hend why the beliefs of other reli-

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

I

TN

October 6 , 2005

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May the coming year be filled with
health and happiness for all our .family and friends.
L'Shanah Tovah!

Judaica Toledo

Centennial Celebration

itions and Treasures of the Toledo Jewish Community

September 18

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emorating the 100th Anniversary of the United Jewish Council
and Jewish Community Center of Greater Toledo

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