LOS ANGELES, August 18, 2020 / PRNewswire / – The American Jewish Committee (AJC) is dismayed California governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1460 (Weber). According to this new law California State University Students must take a course in social anthropology for graduation.
The California State University System Trustees had developed a strong alternative proposal that would have provided students with a more comprehensive range of courses to meet a broader requirement for ethnic studies and degrees in social justice. The bill signed yesterday selectively selects subject areas for the CSU The system's curriculum excludes many marginalized communities such as women and the LGBTQ + community.
AJC wrote to Governor Newsom last week asking him to veto the measure. "The California State University An alternative proposal would have helped protect against anti-Semitism as students would have access to courses on Jewish studies as well as courses on genocide, immigration and social justice, "said AJC Los Angeles Director Richard deer skin. "All students would have the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the various dimensions of racism and bigotry. By neglecting the experiences of American Jews, this law makes it even more difficult to tackle anti-Semitism on campus."
The AJC letter cited rising anti-Semitism rates on college campuses, noting that an existing plan of CSU Leaders would have helped expand understanding of the Jewish experience.
"Given the political prejudice of the courses in critical ethnic studies in colleges, we are particularly concerned that AB 1460 could lead to further exclusion and discrimination of Jewish students on campus, exacerbating a pattern of isolation and marginalization of Jews has become way too commonplace, "said AJC Director of Campus Affairs Zev Hurwitz.
Last year, AJC helped lead a statewide coalition to advocate the inclusion of a wider range of marginalized groups in the proposed model curriculum for California ethno studies. The California Department of Education recently released a revised version that excludes Jews and many other ethnic groups in which they are widely represented California diverse population. AB 331 (Medina), currently on the Senate Budget Committee, will make the California Ethnic Studies Model curriculum a mandatory requirement for students.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee