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"Jesus was a Palestinian"
& other things your children are learning in school

November 2008 Contents

1. New IJCR Book- "The Trouble With Textbooks"

2. Articles Featuring "The Trouble With Textbooks"

3. Testimonials About "The Trouble With Textbooks"

Message from Dr. Gary A. Tobin President The Institute for Jewish & Community Research

Textbooks around the world are blatantly used as tools for propaganda. It is shocking to discover that history and geography textbooks widely used in America's elementary and secondary classrooms contain some of the very same inaccuracies about Christianity, Judaism, and the Middle East as those in Iran and the Arab world.

Politically motivated propaganda has wheedled its way into our children's textbooks. It includes negative stereotypes of Jews, the denial of a Jewish connection to the land of Israel, and blaming Israel for all the wars in the Middle East. At the same time excuses are made for Arab and Muslim terrorism, while Islam is glorified in contrast to Christianity and Judaism. Textbooks are also in many cases dumbed down, and contain shockingly poor scholarship.

These problems need to be addressed by publishers, states, and school districts. Parents, teachers, school officials, and elected officials should demand more accountability about what goes into textbooks and supplemental materials used in the classroom.

The Quad is a quarterly publication of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research (IJCR) that includes updates on IJCR research and publications; alerts about items in the news; original commentary by scholars; and news about our partners.

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The Institute's new publication The Trouble with Textbooks, published by Lexington Books, is based on our five-year study of 28 history, geography, and social studies textbooks. These most widely used textbooks in America's schools are presenting a distorted view of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and the Middle East. The Trouble with Textbooks shows that textbooks are filled with errors, inaccuracies, and even propaganda.

New IJCR Book!
The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting
History and Religion

New Publication
The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion By Gary A. Tobin and Dennis R.Ybarra The Trouble with Textbooks sounds the alarm about how textbooks disparage some groups and teach historical distortions. Our schools are supposed to instill young people with American values and provide students with the knowledge necessary for good citizenship. Instead, textbooks are filled with mistakes and misrepresentations.

Press Release
More Information
Download Summary (PDF)
Order from Lexington Books
Is Your Child Reading a Problematic Textbook? (PDF)

Audio  Listen to Interview

Articles Featuring The Trouble with Textbooks

The Jerusalem Post
"Study Says US Textbooks Misrepresent Jews and Israel,"
By Haviv Rettig
The Jerusalem Post
September 26, 2008

American elementary and high school textbooks contain many "gross misrepresentations" of Judaism, Christianity and Israel, according to a book-length study released this week by the San Francisco-based Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

"It is shocking to discover that history and geography textbooks widely used in America's elementary and secondary classrooms contain some of the very same inaccuracies about Christianity, Judaism and the Middle East as those [used] in Iran," the IJCR said in a summary of the findings of the five-year study.

Link to article

FrontPage MagazineFront Page Magazine
The Indigenous Lives of Jesus and Mohammed
By Seth Frantzman
FrontPage Magazine
October 16, 2008

A new study of American elementary school text books by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research has found that the history of ancient and modern Israel has been politicized by modern interpretations of the ‘conflict’ in the Middle East.

Link to article

The World Net Daily
"’Jesus Was a Palestinian,’ Claims U.S. History Text, Study: American Public School Books have ‘Same Inaccuracies’ as Arab Texts,"
By Bob Unruh
World Net Daily
October 3, 2008

A new study reveals that if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted to criticize the nation of Israel before the United Nations, he could use American public school textbooks to do so.

Link to article

The Jewish News Weekly
"New Research: Jews, Israel Suffer Unfair Hits in U.S. Textbooks,"
By Amanda Pazornik
J. The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California
October 3, 2008

If your child brought home a history book that said Jesus was a Palestinian, or that Jews contributed little to the arts and sciences aside form Old Testament poetry, how would you react? Would you rush to the principal’s office, tear out the pages or do nothing?

Link to article

Testimonials About The Trouble With Textbooks

“Gary A. Tobin and Dennis R. Ybarra have produced a work of incomparable value. They have exposed an extraordinary pattern of errors, distortions and falsehoods in public school textbooks, teacher training and supplemental materials. More frightening is the stunning extent to which our children are being indoctrinated. Every parent, educator, and policy-maker should read this book.”

Kenneth L. Marcus, Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Chair in Equality and Justice in America, City University of New York, former staff director, United States Commission on Civil Rights

“The Trouble with Textbooks is a very important book not only for Jews but for the entire Christian community. This volume is an excellent tool for anyone who is interested in balanced information that is fair and reliable concerning Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.”

Rev. John J. Keane, SA, general council member and ecumenical officer, Franciscan Friars of the Atonement

"One of my greatest challenges in the university classroom is to teach critical thinking. Most undergraduates, though, consider the course textbook revealed truth and refuse to question it. The Trouble With Textbooks reveals that what passes for academic writing must be challenged.”

Marc Dollinger, Ph.D., Richard and Rhoda Goldman Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility, San Francisco State University

“This book is a must read for anyone who cares what American school children are learning about history and religion. I was dismayed to learn just how much our nation’s school systems and the publishing industry ‘dumb down’ vital information about religion and how wrong it is.”

Carolivia Herron, Ph.D., President, PAUSE Creative Writing Program, in partnership with Washington, D.C. Public Schools

“The Trouble with Textbooks should shock and concern everyone in the educational establishment. This groundbreaking study unflinchingly exposes the dissemination of inaccurate history and demonstrates that parents and responsible educators must steadfastly demand accuracy in social studies textbooks.”

Ephraim Isaac, Ph.D., director, Institute of Semitic Studies, Princeton, New Jersey

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