It’s difficult to imagine the California High School Speech Association holding its annual tournament on Christmas, so why is this acceptable?
Last May, when it was discovered that the next tournament, which long ago was scheduled for April 18-20, 2008, would conflict with the first night of Passover, Jewish leaders requested a date change from the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA), an independent group that organizes the event. They were ignored.
After additional attempts to change the schedule failed, Jewish leaders this week issued an “Action Alert,” asking people to contact the CHSSA and their school districts to pressure organizers to reschedule the tournament.
“I find this astonishing and frustrating, and I take that as a slap in the face to the Jewish community,” said Southern California Board of Rabbis executive vice president Rabbi Mark Diamond, who competed as a high school student on the debate team. “There is an attitude here that is profoundly disturbing, a total unwillingness to grapple with the issues, to even apologize for the mistakes and to work with people of good will toward trying to resolve this. There seems to be an attitude of, ‘Tough. Too bad. Life is filled with difficult choices.’ And I do not accept that.”