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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Berkeley middle-schoolers march on Jewish preschool

My granddaughter will start day care in a few months at a Jewish community center. It was my daughter's first choice, but she also worried. Would it be safe?


Preschoolers at a Berkeley Jewish community center.

On Friday, 60 Berkeley middle-school students, equipped with a bullhorn, shouted anti-Israel slogans outside a Jewish community center that houses a preschool, writes Thomas Lifson on American Thinker. They'd walked from nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, escorted by two vice principals.


Back at school, someone had left a message on a classroom whiteboard: "[Name redacted] hates Jews. We stand with [name redacted]" next to a Jewish star, reports Emilie Raguso in the Berkeley Scanner.


It's not the first anti-Semitic incident at MLK Middle School. According to a civil rights complaint filed by Jewish groups, at an earlier demonstration at the school, students shouted “KKK,” “Kill Israel,” “Kill the Jews,” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”


"Throughout the district it became a trend to ask Jewish students if they have a 'number,' an allusion to tattoos given to Jewish concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust," the complaint charges.


And it's not just one middle school.


"Kill the Jews" also was shouted at a Berkeley High School walk-out on Oct. 18, Ilana Pearlman told Jenny Jarvie of the Los Angeles Times. Her son, a ninth grader, is multiracial. He now hides his Jewish identity because it's safer to be black.


When she went over his ancestry project for ethnic studies, the only part of his ancestry he included was his Black side. He didn’t mention he was Jewish or that his ancestors were Holocaust survivors. . . . “Eh, it’s not really the right climate for that,” Ezra said.

Berkeley Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel, told a House committee that "antisemitism is not pervasive" in the district. She said there had been nine formal antisemitism complaints to BUSD since Oct. 7, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.


Jewish parents fear the district's new ethnic studies curriculum, now under development, will denounce Israel as an apartheid state that has no right to exist, reports John Fensterwald on EdSource. The district hired the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Consortium on a one-year $111,120 contract to serve as what Ford Morthel called “a thought partner.”


The group promotes a very left-wing, very anti-Zionist alternative to the state’s ethnic studies model curriculum framework that was rejected by the state education board. It focuses on "dismantling capitalism, systems of racism, and Zionism, which it equates to colonialism," writes Fensterwald.


The Los Angeles Times editorial board called the rejected draft "an impenetrable melange of academic jargon and politically correct pronouncements" filled with "references to hxrstory and womxn and misogynoir and cisheteropatriarchy." But districts don't have to follow the state's model framework.


Ethnic studies will be a graduation requirement by 2030.

6 Comments


JK Brown
JK Brown
May 15

Well, if you daughter and grand daughter live near a college or university with a lot of academics in the community, then it is probably not going to be safe to spend a lot of time at a Jewish community center. The exception being state schools in Red states. But even that is a risk.


It goes double if those academics in the community are humanities or social science faculty or administrators with BAs or MAs.

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Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
May 15
Replying to

She's in a college town in a red state.

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Darren Miller
Darren Miller
May 14

Those administrators should be fired immediately.

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bkwormtoo
May 14

"Berserkeley" has been the nickname for Cal since at least the mid-1960s (I grew up in the Central Valley and heard it back then). Now the uber-Progressive city is earning the nickname for the entire city. This incident is very sad - racial hate aimed at preschoolers, toddlers, and babies - but unfortunately unsurprising to me (I moved to Silicon Valley in the Carter Administration).

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rdiethrich
May 14

Wow, color me surprised. I check out the school on "greatschools" and it is a decently performing school, and despite its name, about half the population is white or Asian!

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m_t_anderson
May 15
Replying to

But was half the population of the 60 harassing "protesters" white or Asian? Curious that we have no photos of them....

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