W wo ov to o o! O gi to witig tt to t ito c o o o W it: www.jtw.t/i.pp?/tt_gii.tThe deadlIne fOr The nexT Issue Is deCember 15
fuTure deadlInes may be fOund OnlIne
is the Voice o JewishWashington. Our mission is to meet the interests o our Jewish community through air and accurate coverage o local,national and international news, opinionand inormation. We seek to expose our readers to diverse viewpoints and vibrant debate on many ronts, including the newsand events in Israel. We strive to contribute tothe continued growth o our local Jewishcommunity as we carry out our mission.
2041 Third Avene, Seattle, WA 98121
phone 206-441-4553 ax 206-441-2736E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(ISSN0021-678X) is published biweekly byThe Seattle Jewish Transcript, a nonprot corporationowned by the Jewish Federation o Greater Seattle,2041 3rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98121. Subscriptions are$39.50 or one year, $57.50 or two years. Periodi-cals postage paid at Seattle, WA. POSTMASTER:Send address changes to JTNews, 2041 Third Ave.,Seattle, WA 98121.
Reach s directl at 206-441-4553 + ext.
*Karen Chachkes 267
*Joel Magalnick 233
Lena Krow 240
Lnn eldhammer 264
David Stahl 235
Stac Schill 292
Rebecca Minsk 238
Ssan Beardsle 239
Loise Kornreich 234
BOARD O DIRECTORS
Scott Michelson, Chair*;
Jerey Berkman; RobinBoehler; Don Edmond; Lisa Eggers; NancyGeiger; Cynthia Flash Hemphill*; Allen Israel*;Stan Mark; Daniel Mayer; Cantor David Serkin-Poole*; Sandy Sidell
, CEO and President, Jewish Federation o Greater Seattle
, Federation Board Chair*
Editorial BoardThe opinions o our columnists and advertisers donot necessarily refect the views o
friday, december 11, 2009
Te article about the Stroum JewishCommunity Center’s arts lecture series,“A broader reach or Te Jewish ouch”(Nov. 27), reerred to Adam Stern as con-ductor o the Seattle Symphony. Sternguest conducted or the symphony ear-lier this year.
Dr. Rafael Medoff
Special to JTNews
“Just kids being kids.”Tat’s what one grandparent said aterlearning that students at a middle schoolin Naples, Fla. last month staged “Kick aJew Day.”“Not anti-Semitic behavior at all.”Tat’s what the principal o a middleschool in a St. Louis suburb said last yearabout students who took part in “Hit aJew Day.”Making excuses or anti-Semitism isbad enough.Slap-on-the-wrist punishments areeven worse.Te 10 Florida students who reveled inkicking Jews were given what the schooldescribed as “one day in-school suspen-sions” and conerences with their par-ents. he St. Louis students likewisereceived only brie suspensions; andother students who verbally tauntedJewish children and encouraged the “hit-ters,” were not punished at all.Perhaps the school ocials who choseto mete out such ultra-lenient penaltiesneed a history lesson. A little-known epi-sode that took place in New York City inearly 1944 might provide some useulguidance.In February 1944, ve students rom Andrew Jackson High School, in Queens, were caught painting anti-Semitic slogansin the nearby town o Queens Village.Principal Ralph Haller, who hap-pened to be German-American, aced adilemma. echnically, he had no juris-diction over what students did outsideschool grounds. But he understood themoral importance o going beyond theletter o the law to ind a way to punishthe attackers and send a message topotential anti-Semitic vandals every- where. Where there was a will, there was a way. Searching the rule books, Halleround he was permitted to prevent a stu-dent rom graduating i he or she demon-strated “poor American citizenship.” At ameeting o parents on February 12, 1944,the principal declared: “I consider such[anti-Semitic] activities totally in contra-diction to everything that the Americao today or the America which we hopeto have tomorrow stands or.” Tereore,he announced, his new policy would beto consider anti-Semitism by denitionas un-American, and he would block thegraduation o any student involved inanti-Semitic acts.Haller noted that he had “counseled with many non-Jewish principals” as wellas assistant superintendent o schools William Hamm, and ound them all inagreement with his choice o punish-ment. Haller emphasized that as a Prot-estant and a German-American, “I eelthat I have the right and duty to speak outon this issue.”Haller’s action is all the more impres-sive when one recalls the extent o anti-Semitism and pro-Nazi sentiment amonghis ellow German-Americans.Just ive years earlier, more than20,000 Bund supporters had lled Mad-ison Square Garden or a pro-Hitlerrally. And in nearby Suolk County inthe late 1930s, tens o thousands o Ger-man-Americans each weekend ockedto Camp Siegried, a pro-Hitler summerretreat, or Nazi-style parades, propa-ganda sessions and rounds o the “Horst Wessel Song” (“When Jewish blood dripsrom the knie/hen will the Germanpeople prosper”).But Ralph Haller was cut rom a dier-ent cloth. He stood apart rom the crowd— and stood up or justice. Anti-Semitism can never be com-pletely eliminated. But i school prin-cipals impose meaningul penalties onoenders, they will help create an envi-ronment in which hatred is regarded asunacceptable and haters are conned tothe urthest margins o society.Te same is true in the internationalarena. All too oten, anti-Semitic out-bursts by political leaders are greeted with excuses: “He was just saying it orinternal consumption” or “He wasn’treerring to all Jews” or “He was angry atIsraeli policies.” Such apologetics serveonly to mask the oender’s true nature —and encourage him to do it again.Ralph Haller, in 1944, showed us the way to respond anti-Semitism: Switly,orceully, and creatively. Let’s learn romhis example.
Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of TheDavid S. Wyman Institute for HolocaustStudies, www.wymaninstitute.org.
lig o o “Kick Jw d”
How to stand up against anti-Semitism
One o the misconceptions many Jews have is that you are either reli-gious or not religious — that Judaismis either all or nothing. When I suggestto someone to study a little each day ortake on a small observance o
,the reply oten is, “Oh! But I am not reli-gious or Orthodox.” Many people seemto think you either always keep kosheror you don’t. You observe all o Shab-bat or none.Our sages teach us that each smallact o kindness, orah study, or anobservance o any
no matterhow small, has ininite reward. Imag-ine i you were in a diamond mine withpiles o diamonds but you were only allowed to leave the mine with one. Would you not take any? Would you notat least take one? Each act o kindnessor bit o orah study is like a diamond! I you could only study two minutes a day,or make one phone call to make some-one happier, then grab it. I you want tokeep kosher but it is too daunting, startby keeping kosher a ew hours a week or wean yoursel rom one non-kosherood. I remember a riend telling mehow proud he was that he keeps kosheron Friday nights.On Hanukkah, we light on the irstnight one small light and then we addone more each night. A possible mes-sage or us is the importance o eachdeed we do and that even one minuteo learning God’s ininite wisdomhas great value. We say in the specialprayers or Hanukkah “the many in thehand o the ew.”he Maccabees were just a smallgroup o Jews ghting or the right tokeep kosher, study orah and observeShabbat. But through the purity o theirdeeds, God miraculously helped themsucceed. We celebrate their victory onHanukkah and are inspired to overcomeall the obstacles in our way and beginspending more time helping others,studying orah and observing
.But we begin celebrating with just onesmall light, one small act o kindness.I was very inspired by an essay I readrom Rabbi Brevda, who suggested com-mitting onesel to learning just one lineo orah each day (or exercising one
a itt igt p ot o k w
Small steps can help lead you closer to God
minute a day), and i you have time,to add a little more. I you miss a day,don’t worry about it. Trough this com-mitment o learning just one line a day,I have been blessed to complete a ew books o orah.Let us be inspired this Hanukkah toadd a little bit more orah to our lives.