At Least 30 Jewish Families Have Left Oakland Schools, Citing Rising Antisemitism
Thirty Jewish families have pulled their children from the Oakland Unified School District amid rising antisemitism, while more plan to do so in the coming year, CBS News Bay Area reports.
The report comes one month after an unauthorized pro-Palestinian “teach-in,” featuring dozens of OUSD educators. The event was endorsed by the Oakland Education Association—the union that represents OUSD teachers.
Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who co-chairs the Legislative Jewish Caucus, was among those who criticized the event.
“Today’s Oakland K-12 teach-in calls for the destruction of Israel,” he wrote on X.
“It lies about Jews, eg: Jews weren’t in Israel until 1948 (Jews have been there millennia) & only “white Jews” are welcome (3.2M Jews of color live there)
It’s straight-up anti-Israel/anti-Jewish indoctrination.”
Supporters of the teach-in claim they were merely highlighting Arab and Palestinian voices, which they say are frequently ignored in teachings about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The teach-in isn’t the only instance of alleged anti-Israel or anti-Jewish actions at OUSD since the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. After Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel, OEA put out a one-sided statement condemning “the 75-year occupation of Palestine.” The message did not condemn Hamas, and made no reference to the more than 1,400 innocent people killed or captured by Hamas. The post referred to Israel as “an apartheid state” and called for the country to end its occupation of Palestine. Based on the prior statement regarding 75 years of occupation, this would presumably mean eliminating the state of Israel entirely. OEA later apologized for the statement.
The federal government has warned that both anti-Jewish sentiment and anti-Arab sentiment are on the rise across the nation. Anti-Jewish incidents at schools and college campuses have been well documented, resulting in high-profile terminations.
Some parents who have removed their children from OUSD believe they were able to do so with ease because the district knows their children aren’t safe there.
"The fact that it was so easy to apply and say that it feels unsafe for my family, and it was granted so quickly validates the fact that it is actually unsafe. The district knows this," when Jewish parent told CBS.
The school district declined to be interviewed by the news organization, but issued the following statement:
"We protect all students, and harassment of anyone is never acceptable. In this time of heightened tensions because of what's happening in the Middle East, we are regularly communicating to our community, reminding them of our core values of love and support, so it should be clear that everyone is welcome and valued in our schools."