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MBUSD Adopts Resolution Condemning Antisemitism

Oct 28, 2022 09:49AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District's headquarters building.

The Manhattan Beach school district on Wednesday night adopted a resolution condemning antisemitism, with language mirroring a similar resolution that the Manhattan Beach City Council  approved earlier this month.

The resolution states what the district has done and will do in the future to combat antisemitism. It also formally adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism (also adopted by the U.S. State Department) and endorses the use of the working definition as a framework to identify discrimination rooted in antisemitism and for discussions to address such discrimination. The definition reads as follows:

"Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

One of the steps MBUSD has taken in recent months is to add the Pulitzer-prize winning graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman as a core literature selection to the middle school reading list. The district is also partnering with the Museum of Tolerance and the Holocaust Museum LA to create in-service presentations and educational learning opportunities for students, staff, and parents.

The full text of the resolution can be seen here.

Resolution Comes on the Heels of Hate Incidents

The resolution comes at a time when Manhattan Beach has seen an unusual number of hate incidents, particularly antisemitic incidents.

At Wednesday night's meeting, board members noted that a new incident of antisemitic graffiti had been discovered on Tuesday at Polliwog Park. A quote attributed to Adolph Hitler had been written on the wall outside one of the women's restrooms.

However, local groups have continued to mobilize against acts of hate.

A community-wide group known as the South Bay Community Coalition Against Hate, led by Manhattan Beach City Councilmember Hildy Stern and other city and business representatives, is organizing a "United Against Hate Week" for November 13-19. 

The week will kick off on November 13 with the unveiling of a rainbow pathway at Polliwog Park, as well as an opportunity for residents to pick up an "MB Stands United Against Hate" lawn sign.

Meanwhile, Mira Costa High School has earned a "No Place for Hate" designation, joining other elementary schools in the district.

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