The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed concern over a problematic video shown in a Rockland County school classroom which espoused anti-Semitic stereotypes, presented a historically inaccurate portrayal of Jews and Judaism, and made multiple references to Judaism as inferior to Christianity.

The video, which was played in a social studies class at Clarkstown South High School, included side-by-side comparisons of Judaism and Christianity while portraying Jews as being exclusive, violent, and “aloof” throughout their history. The video also claims that Jews “got what they deserved” as a result of purported behavior.

Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

We are profoundly troubled that someone in the school thought that this video would be a good teaching tool to show the differences between Judaism and Christianity. The video promotes anti-Semitic notions including claims of Jewish exclusivity, inferiority to Christianity and insulation. The reference to Jews getting “what they deserved” because of their behavior throughout history is abhorrent. These are all classic anti-Semitic myths that have been used for centuries to denigrate Judaism.

We have been in contact with the school, and are pleased that administration has rightly apologized and taken responsibility for using the video as a teaching tool. In addition, we are glad that Clarkstown South has made clear that the video was highly inappropriate and should never have been shown.

It is our understanding that the school is now proactively taking appropriate next steps. We stand ready to work with the school district and the Jewish community of greater Rockland County and have offered our full range of resources on anti-bias education and best practices on combatting anti-Semitism.

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