Institute for Curriculum Services Overview
Direct beneficiaries per year: Hundreds of thousands of American K-12 students and hundreds of social studies teachers
Geographic areas served: Nationwide
• Jews being blamed for Jesus’ crucifixion
• Judaism being presented as a strict or violent religion contrasted with a warm and loving Christianity
• One-sided blaming of Israel for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and omission of plight of Jewish refugees from Arab countries
• Judaism being presented as irrelevant or obsolete after Christianity began
Tens of millions of American students, including our future leaders and policy makers, Jewish and non-Jewish, learn about Jews, Judaism, and Israel each year through social studies textbooks. Unfortunately, students are learning inaccurate and biased information, for example, that Passover is a celebration of the killing of Egyptian firstborn. That’s why the Institute for Curriculum Services works directly with textbook publishers to improve their textbooks’ accuracy. Since our inception, ICS has obtained almost 2,000 concrete corrections to Jewish and Israel related content in over 160 textbooks found across the country, including to the above examples. Fixing textbooks is one part of the equation. Educating educators is the other, which is why ICS is also committed to curriculum development and teacher training.
This year, ICS was selected as the San Francisco Community Federation’s Program of the Year (under 2 min video here was made for the award ceremony: http://sfjcf.wordpress.com/2009/06/12/federation-program-movies/#teen) and we were recently selected for inclusion in Slingshot – a zagat-style guide to the 50 most innovative Jewish non-profits in North America (www.slingshotfund.org).
ICS is an independently funded national initiative of the JCRC and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. JCRC is the fiscal agent.