State Rejects History Textbook Due to Hindu and Jewish Complaints

October 7, 2005

Source: Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

On October 7, 2005 the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix reported, "In a surprise move, an advisory body to California's board of education rejected a sixth-grade history program that Hindu and Jewish groups blasted as biased, erroneous and culturally derogatory. During a two-day hearing last week before the state's curriculum development and supplemental materials commission, Jewish critics lambasted the Oxford University Press textbook and related materials for subjecting early Jewish history to a more rigid standard of proof than Christian or Muslim history; for including stories that have traditionally fomented anti-Semitism; and for misstating key concepts of Judaism, presenting it as a religion of reward and punishment rather than one of social justice and morality... One Hindu speaker pointed to a chapter called 'Where's the Beef?' and said it offended him to have his faith presented 'in the manner of an outdated television ad'... After the public criticism, 14 commissioners voted Sept. 30 against adopting the Oxford materials, and one commissioner abstained. The rejection came as a surprise because a special review committee had recommended adoption of the Oxford materials. California has mandated the study of religion since 1987. Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism are studied in sixth grade, and Islam is covered in seventh grade."