JCRC applauds passage of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers resolution acknowledging harm, expressing regret, and affirming the union’s purpose
At the same meeting, MFT members also defeated a second divisive resolution addressing the Israel-Hamas War
Nov. 29, 2023
Minneapolis, MN — The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) applauds tonight’s passage of a Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) resolution expressing regret for the harm done toward Jewish members, students, and families by the previously passed antisemitic resolution on October 25.
Since the antisemitic resolution passed, JCRC staff worked closely with Jewish and allied MFT members and many Minneapolis families to organize our community’s response.
The resolution that passed tonight read (emphasis added):
When we speak as a union, we must speak with unity and not division.
The foremost priorities for the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers are the education and physical, mental and emotional safety of all Minneapolis Public Schools students. We are especially concerned in this moment for our Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, and Palestinian students, who are deeply hurting. Our focus must remain centered on fostering a safe learning environment for all students.
While it was not MFT members’ intent, the “Israel-Palestine” resolution passed at our October 25 meeting harmed many Jewish members, students, and families while causing unnecessary division within our union. We regret this.
We are reaffirming the purpose of this union: the welfare of all members and students. We never want to cause harm to anyone, and we must stay united as we move forward.
As a union whose mission is to “promote, strengthen and improve public schools” and “protect and promote the well-being of our members,” we recommit to this promise.
This resolution passed 115 yes, 69 no, and 8 abstentions. Notably, far more MFT members voted at tonight’s meeting than at the October 25 meeting, where the original antisemitic resolution passed.
Unlike the October 25 resolution, which was placed on the meeting agenda with no notice, the proponents for tonight’s successful resolution intentionally placed theirs on the agenda and shared its text broadly with members in advance.
Shockingly, after the passage of tonight’s resolution expressing regret at the harm caused by the October 25 resolution, a motion from the floor was made to approve an equally divisive “Resolution on Palestine”, which had been previously passed by MFT 59 Education Support Professionals (ESP). This second resolution was defeated by a vote of 87 no, 68 yes, and 10 abstentions.
Anne Silverman, who introduced the resolution tonight said: “I am grateful to my fellow union members for showing up, supporting this resolution, and rejecting a divisive ESP resolution.”
Emily Silber, who spoke in favor of the resolution, added: “As a union, we can now return our focus to educating our students and working to protect and promote the well-being of teachers.”
Raleigh Shapiro Fromstein, who first contacted JCRC about the October 25 resolution, thanked JCRC for our work: “From the moment I reached out, JCRC staff responded immediately. We could not have achieved tonight’s double victory without JCRC’s strategic guidance.”