Jaime Kardontchik

Antisemitism in US campuses and K12 schools – How to fight it

Letter from US Congress to the Secretary of Education, August 22, 2023 (courtesy of Kathy Manning, Congresswoman of North Carolina)
Letter from US Congress to the Secretary of Education, August 22, 2023 (courtesy of Kathy Manning, Congresswoman of North Carolina)

Jewish students, like all students, deserve equal rights to an education free from discrimination and harassment because of their identity.”

Dear House Representative:

The above quote is from the letter that 84 House Representatives and Senators sent to the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, on August 22, 2023, triggered by their “deep concern about the rise of antisemitic incidents at universities and college campuses.”

If you did not do it yet, I urge you to add your name to the list of sponsors of that letter. Notice that this concern includes not only “universities and college campuses” but also “K12 schools”, as defined in the “Dear Colleague Letter” circulated to schools on May 25, 2023, by the US Department of Education (and referenced in the letter by the 84 HR and Senators): anti-Jewish indoctrination being lately introduced in K12 schools falls under this category of discriminatory and antisemitic harassment.

Lecturers and professors at the universities enjoy an understandable freedom in the determination of the syllabus of the courses they teach, as well as the materials and textbooks required for these courses. Students at the Universities are not minors and they also enjoy (sometimes) the freedom of avoiding taking courses taught by one-sided lecturers and professors they do not hold in high regard.

This is not the case in K12 schools: K12 students are minors, they are more vulnerable, and they do not have the freedom to select courses or teachers at their will, especially core courses that are required for graduation. Last year, the National Education Association passed a resolution (“NBI 13”) stating: “NEA will support members who educate students and other members about the history, geography, and current state of affairs of the Palestinian people. NEA will provide state affiliates with a clear protocol for members doing this work to utilize when they are under attack.”

This resolution gives ample latitude for a one-sided anti-Jewish bashing and indoctrination in K12 schools, introduced through a “teach-Palestinian-narrative-only” attitude. It was tried before in California, which led its governor, Gavin Newsom, to veto it for its anti-Jewish content (the infamous 2019 “Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum”). Be inclusive! Teach both perspectives of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian and the Jewish perspective, side-by-side, and no one will have any cause to be afraid of and feel “under attack”!

Or, leave the Arab-Israeli conflict out altogether from K12 curricula. Personally, I am not a fan of teaching the Arab-Israeli conflict in K12 schools: public schools already struggle to teach the basic tools and subjects that children need to succeed in life (English, Math, the History of the United States and Civics come to mind). The Arab-Israeli conflict is not one of them.

However, if the NEA or some local school districts insist, then the Jewish perspective of the conflict should be taught too. It is presented in my book “The root of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the path to peace.” (August 2023 edition.) Teachers, students, and parents can read and download (pdf) the book for free at:

Please, accept a complimentary paperback copy of my book (sent separately.)

Jaime Kardontchik, PhD (Physics)

Silicon Valley, California


The above is a letter I am lately sending to the Congressmen/women in the US House of Representatives. (Note: members of the Hispanic Caucus will receive instead a complimentary paperback copy of the Spanish edition of my book: “La raíz del conflicto árabe-israelí y el camino hacia la paz”)

Covers of the English and Spanish paperback editions of my book. The books are available at Amazon. The two books can also be read and downloaded (pdf) for free at the ResearchGate website.


[1] You can read the letter sent by the 84 US Congressmen and Senators to the US Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, on August 22, 2023, in the website of the Congresswoman of North Carolina, Kathy Manning:

Opening this link, you will find a general description of the letter. The article ends with the phrase: “Read the full letter here”. Clicking on it, you can read the actual letter sent by the 84 House Representatives and Senators.

This Congressional letter seems to have triggered or facilitated a next day call, on August 23, to K12 public schools in California, issued by governor Gavin Newsom, that “ethnic studies classes must not promote bias, bigotry, or discrimination against protected groups, which include Jews and Israelis.” For many more details on the latter, see the article by Gave Stutman in the “Jewish News of Northern California”, published on August 24, 2023:

[2] You can read the “Dear Colleague Letter” issued by the US Department of Education on May 25, 2023, by googling: “Dear Colleague Letter May 25, 2023”. Most probably, the first link provided by Google will be titled “Dear Colleague Antisemitism”. Clicking on it, will automatically download the full content of “Dear Colleague Letter” in pdf format. The “Dear Colleague Letter” gives parents a description of a full set of tools available to them to fight anti-Jewish discrimination in K12 schools.

“Dear Colleague Letter” sent by the Department of Education, on May 25, 2023, to K-12 schools and institutions of higher education (courtesy of the US Department of Education)
About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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