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Letters the Week of June 27, 2013
Israel Bashing Is a Cruel Reality of Campus Life
In her opinion piece, “Seeing the Importance of Israel Through College Bound Eyes,” in the June 13 Exponent, Andrea Cantor described the political climate she was preparing to face at Sarah Lawrence College. Her thoughts had been spurred by a blog post she’d read called “20 Ways To Be Popular at an Expensive Liberal Arts School.”
The blog’s first tip was: “Despite your Jewish upbringing, support Palestine at all cost. Disregard any and all other atrocities happening across the globe. Palestine is fresh and hip.”
While this was meant as a tongue-in-cheek spoof on “PC” attitudes on college campuses today, unfortunately, it exposes a painful area for many Jewish families sending their children to college this fall. There is an enormous amount of Israel bashing taking place, both in and out of the lecture halls, and most Jewish students are ill-prepared to counter it.
Jerusalem U’s Step Up for Israel campaign was created for this purpose. It includes material for middle school, high school and adults, and is designed to create a sense of pride in Israel. Currently being sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, the program is available free to all synagogues and organizations in the region. For information, go to www.StepUpForIsrael.com or contact [email protected]
Andrea Gottlieb | Executive Director JerusalemOnlineU.com
Letter Writer’s Logic Was Particularly Offensive
I found the letter by Jacob Scharf in the June 20 Exponent, “It’s Risky to Put Judaism Above Academics,” particularly offensive. The gist of it was that secular academics and Jewish education are mutually exclusive. He seemed to be stating that in order to have one you must forfeit the other — or “dumb down” your choices of schools in order to pursue them.
Mr. Scharf insults all Jewish schools nationwide. He seems to be saying that Jewish schools are not preparing the students for a top-rate education in secular and Jewish topics.
Would he say that parents today are wasting tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to Jewish day schools, high schools and yeshivas? Are alumni associations raising millions of dollars to fund this “inconvenient truth” that Mr. Scharf speaks of? It is shameful for him to imply that Jewish schools, teachers, administrators and parents have not prepared them for both.
Harold S. Rose | Narberth
Article Noted Diversity of Those Who Compete
Thank you for the piece by Greg Salisbury in the June 6 Exponent, which highlighted the 40th year of the Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition. The article’s acknowledgment of the diverse community of participating students was gratifying.
We would like to thank the Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, which has long supported this competition, and our other sponsors: Blank Rome LLC, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Sons and Daughters of Holocaust Survivors, the Samuel Pelta Holocaust Endowment Fund, Moore College of Art and Design, and the firm of Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner, Weinstock and Dodig.
Dr. Maureen Pelta | Chair Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition