Article Discussion: Confronting Anti-Semitism If I Dont Respond Who Will

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April 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm #947

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Click here to read the article: Confronting Anti-Semitism If I Dont Respond Who Will

February 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm #4308

Unnamed

Your article makes me relieved that I was born in India. We grew up amidst so many communities that we take differences to be normal. Of course, as kids we said “We don’t like south Indians”, or “we don’t like Punjabis”.. but nobody took it seriously. Our parents always reminded us that people will have likes and dislikes and they will be different. You try to find what you like about them and like them for that and overlook differences.
Recently, I told a Jewish friend of mine that a colleague left work at noon on a Friday because he neede d to be home before sundown, which was by the way 40mins away… She pounced on me as anti-semitic and accused me of being in denial. Such over-reaction will only add fuel to the fire.. From the largest democracy in the world, I can only say – Be open to other people’s comments. Don’t mow them down. Everybody has a right to vent.. And the easier you are to get along with – the more people will like you. How many times we have made fun of south indians or north indians, and then we end up in cross-community marriages. And still both sides continue to make fun of each others cultural differences…

February 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm #4309

Unnamed

I understand that Rosh Hashanah is an annual event that happens every year and so is the back to school dance. It is not just any other fun event. They are both special. But instead of making the entire school accommodate why not teach your daughter the beauty of sacrifice and the importance in choosing in life – in life we can’t have it all. As a teenager I had to choose whether I wanted to have the fun in school, or the fun at home or the fun at another friend’s party. Don’t you make sacrifices all the time – for your husband, for your friends, for your kids? It is a part of life.. we can never have everything all the time. Why not get that lesson early in life, ..

Political Correctness can NEVER make up for genuine empathy and fondness. A person can be hopeless at political correctness and be a genuine friend and vice versa. Therefore, the crusade for political correctness, though has it is own value, can cause more hurt and therefore harm than benefit. Obviously, I am talking from having been hurt very deeply myself….

February 8, 2010 at 5:50 am #4312

Debbie B.

Although reply #2 perhaps misses the significance of Rosh Hashanah to Jews (How would an observant Christian like to have a school event scheduled on Easter?), I do agree that one cannot always expect a non-Jewish majority world to change for Jewish needs, and that it serves to emphasize to kids the importance of Jewish observance which sometimes requires giving up something. I was proud of my son for making his own choice to not violate kashrut at school even though it meant that he had pass up the pizza offered as a treat in some class because they ran out of plain cheese and only pepperoni pizza was left. I live in a very Jewish town where my kids’ public schools have days off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Interestingly enough though, there is a different elementary school district in the same town that does not have either day off although they do end up with significant absenteeism of students and faculty for those Jewish holidays. However, my kids still miss many days of school for Jewish holidays, and invariably a special event too because we observe the second day of Rosh Hashanah (which stopped being a school holiday for our elementary school district several years ago) and other holidays such as Sukkot, Passover (since spring break stopped being scheduled to coincide) and Shavuot. This year was good in that many Jewish holidays occurred on weekends, however my daughter will still miss the high school orchestra awards night because it is on erev Shavuot.

Only a small number of the many Jewish kids in the public schools observe those other holidays since most of the Orthodox kids and most of the observant Conservative kids in our area attend Jewish day schools. The few Orthodox kids in the public schools have “special needs” and have siblings in day school. Those kids who are even more observant than we are will *never* get to go to Homecoming because it is always on a Friday night. We’re more flexible and have occasionally allowed our children to attend school events on Shabbat. Since Homecoming would not conflict with a Jewish High Holiday for every year, I personally would have let that that one pass and request the administration to consider it for future scheduling, thus avoiding the problem of making people upset because it was changed.

One thing that did come up with respect to a lack of understanding of Jewish holidays was that last year some of my daughter’s high school teachers gave the students extra homework when they had “days off” for the High Holidays. Luckily, my daughter is quite assertive, so she took it upon herself to explain to those teachers how she could not work on Yom Kippur. She explained that the observances of the holiday started in the late afternoon on the day before, that she had spent approximately seven total hours at synagogue while fasting, and that during the short afternoon break, she was forbidden to use her computer or write, so it was impossible to do any work until that night. She had worked on homework from after the “breakfast” meal until midnight, but had not been able to finish her work. She admitted to me that she had been a bit dramatic in her description of the holiday to make sure they got the point. They were apologetic and immediately gave her an extension for the work. This year the high holidays were on weekends, but next year, I will preemptively write the administration to ask them to make sure that faculty understand the nature of the Jewish holidays.

August 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm #17729

Unregistered

It appears that Unnamed hit the nail on the head.

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