Florida rabbi challenges the Bible on library shelves in Palm Beach County public schools

The school board will take up the challenge next Wednesday.

The Palm Beach Post | By Katherine Kokal | July 13, 2023

Should students check out the Bible at Palm Beach County’s school libraries?

School board members will decide Wednesday when they weigh in on whether a local rabbi’s challenge to the religious text should succeed.

Barry Silver, an outspoken civil rights advocate based in Boynton Beach, filed an objection in April to the Bible’s availability at Olympic Heights High School in Boca Raton, where his son, Brandon, was a senior in the spring.

Silver said the book contains “misogyny, violence, sexual conduct, rape, incest, animal cruelty, abuse, anti-semitism, anti-science and indoctrination,” and he attached a petition for its removal signed by about 50 people. He argued that Charles Darwin’s “Origin of The Species” should replace the Bible on school shelves.


Bible bans have been considered at several school districts across the county. Stock Image

“The bible has this elevated, sacrosanct status that it cannot be evaluated. That’s really dangerous,” he said in an interview. “If you’re going to have these laws, then you have to do it in an even-handed fashion. You can’t just get rid of books you don’t like and consider others to be above critical review.”

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