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Liars For Yahweh! How the Tikun Olam Charter School Got a $600,000 Federal Grant

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Last spring, I was part of what we called our "documentation committee," a committee formed to thoroughly examine the version of school's charter application that was current at that time. For my part on this committee, I did exactly what anyone familiar with my other work would expect me to do -- I checked out the sources cited by the school's founders to support their ridiculous 'teaching Hebrew is vital to our national interests' claim. And what I found, of course, was that they had misquoted and misrepresented the sources they cited to make them support their claim.

While the school's latest application has dropped parts of what was debunked in the previous application, this will give you an idea of the depths of scholarly deception -- on top of all their other deceptions -- that these Liars For Yahweh have stooped to in their attempt to get their school approved.

Ms. Akman and her cohorts should not only be flatly denied a charter to start their school, but should be prosecuted under Title 18, -1001 of the U.S. Code, the federal statute prohibiting the making of false statements to federal officials, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison for anyone who "knowingly and willfully makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation" or "makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry."

Additional resources: Mother Crusader, the blog of Highland Park resident Darcie Cimarusti, who since last spring has made it her full-time job to stop the Tikun Olam charter school; Speak Up Highland Park; and Save Our Schools NJ.

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Chris Rodda is the Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), and the author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History.
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