Why is the Inquisition of five centuries ago making headlines today? The tentacles of Jew-hatred…
I recently read with a great deal of despair the comments that crossed the Atlantic from Amichai Chikli, Israel’s Diaspora Affair Minister. He noted that, “We are losing large parts of the Jewish people as a result of the small percentage of Jews who send their children to Jewish Day Schools. Thus, The Diaspora Affairs and Combating Antisemisitm Ministry will invest NIS 150 million in establishing a new project to substantially expand the number of children in Jewish Day Schools in North America.”
Under the current watch, the Diaspora Affairs Committee unveiled a project titled, “Aleph Bet” during a briefing at the Knesset Immigration Absorption Affairs and Diaspora Affairs meeting. The minister went on to say; “There is a major crisis in Jewish education in North America outside the Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities. The Aleph Bet project will be focused on schools in North America with an emphasis on training teachers for Jewish education and Israel studies, as well as principles for Jewish Day Schools.”
This investment from Israel of some $44 million in U.S. dollars comes at a critical time. Like other schools in America, Jewish Day Schools are undergoing a crisis as the “woke culture” tsunami overtakes our nation. As the new campaign from Israel points out, we are in the midst of a crisis where we could literally lose an entire generation of Jews as a result of the lack of participation in Jewish Education.
Wikipedia describes a Jewish Day School as a modern Jewish educational institution that is designed to provide children of Jewish parents with both a Jewish and a secular education in one school. While some schools may stress Judaism and Torah study others may focus more on Jewish history, Hebrew Language, Yiddish language studies, secular Jewish culture and Zionism. Axios online recently reported: “Hebrew School Enrollment in U.S. Drops Sharply.” The feature went on to report that student enrollment in “supplementary” Hebrew schools across America from 2006 to 2020 has fallen by 45%. This is according to a study by The Jewish Education Project, a nonprofit that supports Jewish educators. About 27% of Jewish Day Schools closed during that period and of the 761 schools that closed, 556 closed their doors permanently.
Today, many Jewish day schools in America teach ideas revolving around “impacting the world with courage and compassion” and diversity statements now precede or even replace any mention of the Torah. Orthodox schools encourage social activism on behalf of social justice groups whose platforms align with anti-Zionism. Over the past ten years, hundreds of orthodox Jewish youth in our nation participated in national walkouts for the Black Live Matters movement and gun control. The long held Jewish foundational values of decency, kindness and empathy, as integral components to the Jewish identity and culture, have tragically dropped down on the list of priorities.
It is evident that the “woke culture” has come for America’s children—both Christian and Jews! Now, like never before, history is being re-written before our eyes. It is imperative that we remember and teach our mandate: “Never Forget!” We must with haste entrust this battle cry to the next generation.
Studying antisemitism in the context of Nazi ideology illuminates the manifestations and ramifications of prejudice, stereotyping, xenophobia, and racism. Antisemitism persists in the aftermath of the Holocaust and is now dangerously on the rise. Teaching and learning about the Holocaust creates a forum for examining the history and evolution of antisemitism—an essential factor that made the darkest hour in humanity possible. A close examination of the tactics used to promote antisemitism, including hate speech, propaganda, manipulation of the media, and group targeted violence, can help students understand the mechanisms employed to divide communities.
These tactics are being implemented in today’s culture!
My own nonprofit organization, Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN), is drawing a line in the sand and reaching out to national educators in America. We are demanding Holocaust and Civic Standards be returned to our nations classrooms. The vital points and goals of these standards include:
• Draft Holocaust Standards that teach our children about their Jewish classmates and neighbors. We strongly advise that the Holocaust Standards include teaching that the Jews have always been an integral part of American and world societies and are an asset to our communities. Connecting children in K-5 to their Jewish friends helps build empathy through education so that when they begin to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust in 6th-12th they will already have a foundation of understanding of who and why the Jews were targeted.
• This perspective must be given so our children will come to connect Hitler’s rise to power with
the 3,000-year history of persecution and hatred targeted at the Jews and how Hitler’s “Final
Solution” to the Jewish Question was a modern-day continuum of that age-old hatred.
• The Holocaust revisionism that is growing more pervasive in the United States must be stopped.
• American education has not been successful in combating antisemitism in our classrooms. We must choose a new path that will teach the multifaceted nature of both the normalcy of American Jewish relations and the abnormality of Jew-hatred. This will assist our students in understanding that antisemitism is the sign of a deep-seated problem in our society.
• We stand strongly on the platform of teaching TRUE American history to our children. America was built on Judeo-Christian values—this history must NOT be rewritten as it forms the very foundation of our great nation.
• The Founding Documents that are based on Torah principals must be taught. Our children must be connected with the real roots of the nation, not the re-written propaganda and indoctrination based curriculum that is infiltrating classrooms across the nation.
• We must demand that the civic standards in America’s classrooms teach the true historical facts as well as the Judeo-Christian values and principles from the Torah that the Founding Fathers used to build the foundation on which America is built.
Together we stand as Christians and Jews to protect that which is most dear to us: The Future of our children.
Learn more about our work at: www.pjtn.org.