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Jewish history will now be taught in public schools under an amendment to Oregon law

By 03/16/2023 5:06 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

The Oregon legislature voted unanimously to approve H.B. Jews have now been included in the group of underrepresented groups whose history and contributions public schools are required by state law to teach.

The law, which state officials passed in 2019, mandated that Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Chicanos, Latinos, and individuals of Middle Eastern heritage be included in the public school curricula.

The bill made mention of LGBTQ individuals as well as women, people with disabilities, immigrants, and refugees.

Jewish state representative David Gomberg (D-Otis) attempted to change the legislation to include Jews.

He said that he decided amid rising antisemitism.

The state enacted a law requiring the study of the Holocaust and genocides in 2019. However, the 2023 amendment’s proponents aimed to incorporate lessons about Jewish accomplishments more generally than merely the tragedies that have befallen Jews.

“Being Jewish should not be a World War II lesson,” Elkan Beinin, a sixth-grade student, stated before the assembly.
The state has a local issue with antisemitism.

A historic Portland synagogue was the subject of anti-Semitic vandalism and arson in 2022. In Eugene, Oregon, anti-Semitic flyers were handed out in February.

Three Israeli eateries had “Free Palestine” written on them, and anti-Semitic graffiti was also left on a Holocaust memorial in 2021.

Moreover, a professor at Linfield University in Oregon received a $1 million settlement last month for wrongful dismissal after he revealed antisemitism on campus, including acts committed by the university president, among other people.


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