May 18, 2006
One Proud Teacher
I'm a teacher at Shalhevet Middle School. I've been teaching the Holocaust to my eighth-grade students for the past three years.
Over a two-month period we tackled questions such as: "How was it possible for Hitler to gain such power?" "Where were the American Jews?" "Would Israel be in creation today had the Holocaust not happened?" and much more. My students also write a 10-page research paper on a topic relating to the Holocaust and become mini-experts on their topics.
I'm writing to you in order to thank you for publishing Adam Deutsch's article "Fading Numbers" (Tribe, April 7) regarding Holocaust education. After reading the article, I realized that I could do even more. I went to my principals and proposed that next school year, instead of teaching eighth-grade history four times a week, I teach regular eighth-grade history three times a week, and a class on the Holocaust once a week. I told them about your recent article and that Holocaust education will become more prominent in the schools over the next few years. They were thrilled with the idea!
So, I just wanted to let you know of the difference that your article is already making. You should feel proud.
I love Israel and its many beautiful places and people. I feel proud when The Journal has a cover story on Israel ("Beautiful Israel," May 5). But if you want to be a community newspaper, then have some sensitivity and do not put an immodestly clothed woman on your cover so Orthodox Jews are uncomfortable bringing the paper into their homes. I somehow feel you could have saluted Miss Israel and Yom Ha'Atzmaut in a more tasteful way for all in the community to enjoy and be proud.
The Poland Scoop
Your article "The Shadows of Another Time" (April 21), states that Rachel Kadish went to Poland to reclaim real estate owned by her family. According to the report, her last look at Poland was in 2001. Then she published her original piece claiming that there are no Jews in Krakow, only non-Jews trading in Jewish merchandise. It appears she does not speak the language and does not seem to have made a real effort to make contact with the Jews of Krakow. Those Jews today number in the thousands.
If the Jews in Poland depend on the support of Catholic Poles, this is in some measure due to the fact that the international Jewish community has largely ignored the existence -- and therefore the needs -- of Jews living in Poland.
I would like to extend to Kadish an invitation to come to Poland again and feel the renewed spirit of Jews in Warsaw, in Lublin and in Krakow. I promise her that she will leave better informed and reassured that Judaism in Poland is alive and well. Then her report might appear in an anthology with a different title: "The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Optimism."
Mixed on March
Theodore Bikel complains of the "tunnel vision" of American Jews. which prevents them from appreciating the "scores" of young Jews in Poland who are rediscovering Jewish culture (Letters, April 28). While one, of course, appreciates the small communities that have been established in Poland and elsewhere, it is sad beyond words to remark the difference between these communities and what was destroyed. The March has placed the emphasis where history has mandated that it be placed.
More on Munich
Three words for ["Munich"] are powerful, powerful, powerful ("Weisz Gets Gold; 'Munich' Out in the Cold" March 10). [Steven] Spielberg should be given a medal for bringing this piece of history to the screen. Too many people today have no knowledge of that tragedy. It needed to be documented on film. Stop nit-picking.
To read more letters this week, visit www.jewishjournal.com. THE JEWISH JOURNAL welcomes letters from all readers. Letters should be no more than 200 words and must include a valid name, address and phone number. Letters sent via e-mail must not contain attachments. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used, but names will be withheld on request. We reserve the right to edit all letters. Mail: The Jewish Journal, Letters, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1510, Los Angeles, CA 90010; e-mail: email@example.com; or fax: (213) 368-1684