Hate at home: State lawmakers eye expanding Jewish history education in schools
New York lawmakers are looking into ways to expand Jewish history education in public schools as a way to combat a rise in antisemitism statewide.
"The curriculum needs to be expanded so that there's an appreciation and an understanding of antisemitism more broadly," said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
Paulin was highly critical of the initial response by the Yonkers City School District after members of the Leffell girls' varsity basketball team accused members of the Roosevelt High School basketball team of using racial slurs and yelling "Free Palestine" during a game last Thursday.
The Leffell School is a private, Jewish school in Hartsdale.
A preliminary probe by the Yonkers City School district found that a student from the Roosevelt High School girls' basketball team yelled "Free Palestine" at a player at the private Jewish institution, The Leffell School, during a game last Thursday.
Legislators said acts of antisemitism have become too normalized in society and that must change.
"We need to prevent our young people from thinking this kind of stuff is OK to begin with," Assemblywoman MaryJane Shimsky said.
In 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law requiring the state Education Department to determine whether the Holocaust was being adequately taught in schools. That report found no issues with how districts teach that history.
The Anti-Defamation League found U.S. antisemitic incidents have gone up about 400% since the Israel-Hamas war began.