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Publisher to correct passage about Orthodox Jews

A major publisher of educational materials for schools has agreed to correct a textbook that suggested Orthodox Jews deny the Jewishness of Conservative and Reform Jews. Scholastic Inc. said last Friday that it would amend its textbook “Enchantment of the World” in a letter to Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs at Agudath Israel of America, who brought the error to the publisher’s attention. “No Orthodox Jew of any stripe considers anyone born of a Jewish mother or halachically converted, regardless of his or her affiliation or beliefs, to be anything other than a Jew,” Shafran wrote to the company president in January. “Nor does any Jew’s less strict observance, or lack of observance, change the status of a Jew in Orthodox eyes.” In addition to reprinting the textbook with an amended passage approved by Agudath Israel, Scholastic will destroy its inventory of the book and replace current copies when the reprint becomes available. Reprinting is scheduled to begin in April.