U.S. School Textbooks Contain Inadequate Information About Jews, Survey Establishes

Inadequate information, errors and myths characterize the treatment of Jews in many of our school textbooks, Dr0 Everett R. Clinchy, president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, said today in connection with the release of results of a five-year study of the books used in elementary and secondary schools.

The study, initiated and financed by the Conference, has been published by the American Council on Education’s. It is based on an examination of 267 school texts, 49 college manuals and 100 of the most widely read children’s library books. Most of the material in these books is about the ancient Jews, Dr. Clinchy stated, “Three-fourths of the space allotted to Jews in world history texts deal with events before 79 A.D. Pupils are left with the assumption that Judaism and Jewish culture have changed little since that time,” he declared.

“Mention of Jews after that date are most commonly in connection with persecutions,” he added. “There is little about the constructive contributions of the group or about their ordinary, harmonious relations with other groups. There are also many inaccuracies In the description of Jews as a ‘race’; there is little recognition of religious, economic and cultural variations among Jews; there is little to offset the stereotypes of Jews which abound in contemporary social thinking.”

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