Los Angeles
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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board passed a resolution by unanimous consent on July 13 condemning anti-Semitism.

“The Board of Education unanimously approved today a resolution affirming the value of Jewish students, families and employees,” the board said in a statement. “It also addressed anti-Semitism in response to the significant rise of hate crimes.”

They noted that approximately 15 percent of the school age youth population in their district is Jewish or has Jewish family members.

The resolution, which was put forward by board member Scott Mark Schmerelson, stated that “there has been a significant rise in hate crimes here in Los Angeles and across the country over the last four years against many racial, ethnic, religious, and other minority groups.” It noted that “reports of white supremacist, anti-Semitic, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israeli graffiti, bullying, harassment, and violence on LAUSD campuses has been on the rise for the past four years, and administrators, teachers, and student leaders need updated and readily available training and resources to prevent and address anti-Semitism in all its forms.” It also mentioned the recent surge in anti-Semitic attacks and vandalism during and following the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

“I am proud to be the Los Angeles Unified Board member to introduce the resolution that affirms the value of Jewish students, staff and families,” Schmerelson said. “I authored this resolution to ensure that Jewish students, employees, families and community members are recognized and made to feel as safe and secure as every other member of the Los Angeles Unified family.”

Board President Kelly Gonez, who co-sponsored the resolution, said that anti-Semitism has no place in their schools and community.

“I appreciate the opportunity to speak with one voice as a board against anti-Semitism and to take concrete steps to ensure our Jewish students, families, and staff feel safe and welcomed in our schools,” Gonez said.

The Association of Jewish Educators (AJE) praised the board for their commitment to tackling anti-Semitism.

“(AJE is) concerned about rising anti-Semitism and its implications for students and employees of Los Angeles Unified. Jewish students, parents or District employees should not have to fear becoming targets of retaliation, derision, bullying, isolation or violence,” said Irina Sugar, AJE president. “This resolution allows, by working collaboratively with experts in Jewish history and culture, to enhance curriculum with specific examples of anti-Semitism to increase awareness and to improve reporting and responding to hate-motivated incidents.”

Jewish advocacy group StandWithUS also applauded the board’s move.

“StandWithUs applauds the LAUSD Board of Education for unanimously passing this resolution of solidarity with the Jewish community and for firmly standing against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric in our schools,” said StandWithUS CEO Roz Rothstein.

She added, “As an organization that works directly with high school students, parents, teachers and community members across the district, we hear the growing concerns of antisemitism in our city and we echo the call for updated educational resources that represent the Jewish community’s history and experiences. Including education about the diverse Jewish community in our classrooms, is a crucial step in combating antisemitism.”