Lesson Purpose and Overview:   

This lesson introduces students to antisemitism and its manifestations through the lens of Jewish Middle Eastern Americans, also known as Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews, whose contemporary history is defined by recent struggles as targets of discrimination, prejudice and hate crimes in the United States and globally. Students will analyze and research narratives, primary, and secondary sources about Mizrahi Jews. The source analysis contextualizes the experience of Jewish Middle Eastern Americans within the larger framework of systems of power (economic, political, social).

Adopted by California’s State Board of Education into their Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.

Essential Questions:

  • Who are Jewish Americans? Who are Jews of Middle Eastern descent?
  • What is antisemitism? What are the manifestations of antisemitism as experienced by Jewish Middle Eastern Americans?
  • What new possibilities can students imagine and actions can they take to address antisemitism?

Version 1 of Antisemitism and Jewish Middle Eastern Americans, written by Dr. Galia Avidar

Version 2 of Antisemitism and Jewish Middle Eastern Americans, edited by California Department of Education

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