The Charlotte Jewish news. (Charlotte, N.C.) 19??-current, November 01, 1995, Image 2
The Chariotte Jewish News - November, 1995 - Page 2 perspectives by Harvey Cohen On Speaking Out When I taught Public Rela tions at UNC-Giarlotte last fall, I told the class that if they wanted to learn what was on the minds of people without getting into a lot of expensive research, read the Letters to the Editor in any newspaper. From anger to outrage to warm, fuzzy letters of appreciation, you'll find everything there. I think "Mind Speak" or "Heart Speak" would be a good sub-title for the Letters col umn because that's what people truly do...they say it like they feel. There was a time (if you're old enough you'll remember) when Jews hardly ever spoke out publicly on issues that affected them directly and personally. It's encouraging to watch the change. Holly Levinson's letter is only one of many that have ap peared in the Observer over time. Some of the time and space that Lloyd Scher, a Jewish, Mecklenburg County Commissioner, gets in the media is Jewish related, for example, his stand on Council meetings that fall on Jewish holidays. There's another letter that ap peared in the Charlotte Observer I'd like to share with you. It appeared on October 9, one day before the deadline for this issue. (Whew!) Fm going to assume the writer, Jeffrey Summers, is Jewish al^ough I didn't fmd any Summers listed in the Hadassah Directory. Here's what he had to say: Who*s hypocritical about dietary laws? "In response to “McDonald’s, Jenisalem-style: Israelis hypocritical about foreigners” (Sept. 28 Forum): "Thomas G. Haynes’ attitude that the Israelis should relax their dietary and woiidng laws to “accom modate foreigners” is ridiculous. No other country does this, why should Israel? "About the Summers work week: Pertiaps Mr. Haynes cannot reach Orthodox Jewish workers on Saturday, but I can’t reach any workers in this country on a Sun day, specially on a Sunday morning. And I’m sure he can find American Jews expected to work here on Saturdays and American Muslims THE CHARLOTTE JEWISH NEWS 5007 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28226 366-5007 Fax 365-4507 Published by: Jewish Community Center Alan Feldman, IMrector Editor Harvey Cohen Advertising Coordinator Rita Mond Advertising Rep Larry Levy CJN Executive Board Co-Chairs - Bob Abel, Bob Davis, Rosalind Taranto Evelyn Berger, Leora Itzhaki, Ann Langman, Linda Levy, Dr. Selwyn Spangenthal jBBUSSf PuMMtsd montMy nospt tor July Copy dMdlln* ttM 10th Of Mch month prMWttng month of Imu« Tke CJN4mmm —t mmmmma far tW jwiJity •c b—hyth •f aay prodhict m- ••rvice N« articlM mr ■My be repriatei oHh—t mdktor’u —th»ri«aeiBa. PaMaMas «f a paid poBtk.al d»— Mt CMstkate ■■ •f aay caadUata, patical party ar paMtitai paaMiaa by Letters to tlie £dltor USA 290 required to work on Fridays, their holy day. "Israel is a religious country and has certain religious-based laws (as do all countries). Getting a cheeseburger in Israel is easier than getting a beer in Morocco and only slightly harder than getting a good cup of coffee in some parts of Salt Lake City. But dietary laws closer to home also limit the cuisine choices of foreigners. For instance, there is a Korean dish which is supposed to be topped with a raw egg, but in this country you can’t get this dish pre pared properly because of dietary laws. Please recall that Kosher laws were created for health reasons (Ko sher is the Hebrew word for “clean”). "My advice to Mr. Haynes: If you can’t be happy in another coun try and enjoy it as it is, stay home." JEFFREY SUMMERS Charlotte I would encourage you to "get it out" in print. In fact, for some, it might almost be theraputic. I would also hope that you feel com fortable enough to write to this pa per. Whether you're feeling angry or h^py or sad or glad cm* you just want to get something off your chest, write to us. We'll be happy to print what you write, but please don't write the equivalent of War and Peace. Whatever you have to say, try to keep it to about 200 words. To give you an idea of what 200 words look like, the Levinson letter in the next column is about 200 words. Although your letter will be edited for length. I'll work hard not to edit out the essence of what you're trying to say. And please don't send an ad unless you're ready to pay for it. Do send what you have feelings about...good or bad. Watch your language, after all, this is a family newspaper. Your letter must also be signed. Oh yes, be sure it gets to me on time. The deadline for any given issue is the 10th of the month pre ceding that issue. I look forward to hearing from you. Ed. note: This letter appeared on the Charlotte Observer's Forum page on October 5, 1995. / felt it was worth reprinting. Others’ religions: first, let*s learn As the wife of a Jewish hus band, a mother raising my child in a Jewish home and a participant in the Jewish community, I read with in terest religion columnist Ken GarHeld’s “ ‘They’re smiling but not open-minded’ “ (Sept. 30). Undoubtedly, many Charlotte citizens don t know the basics of the Jewish faith. Nor do they know what within this faith is important to their Jewish neighbors and friends, or how that faith helps define the es sence of the lives of these Jews. My family and I, and probably many other Jewish families, often confront this indifference. We should all “work for brotherhood by learning about our neighbors’ different journeys of faith.” This pursuit presents a chal lenge to the Charlotte Jewish com munity as well. Sure, almost all Jews know about Christmas and Easter - in our society it’s impossible not to be aware of these holidays. Most Jews also understand that Christmas celebrates, the birth of Christ, the Christian Messiah, and that Easter commemorates his death and resur rection. But how many Jews also can describe what the life and teachings of Jesus Christ mean to their Chris tian friends and neighbors or how these Christians incorporate their religious beliefs into their daily lives? We can all leam firom each other. By exploring the beliefs of each other we may realize that, despite our dif ferences, we all are pursuing many common goals. HOLLY H. LEVINSON Charlotte School issues As a candidate for the school board I have spent the last several weeks attending campaign forums and discussing the issues with vot ers. I am very disappointed by the lack of interest in the bond referen dum and the lack of knowledge re garding the school system and its achievements. The fault lies partly with the media who believe diat only bad news is news, and with the citi zenry. The educational reform pro gram instituted by Dr. Murphy has been responsible for a major part of this improvement and has laid the groundwoiic for continued improve ment in the future. The program is based on decentralizing the school system by pliK:ing decision-making power in the hands of principals and reducing the power of the down town bureaucrats. Teachers and principals are rewarded when their students do well. Students are in duced, even [xessured, to study sub jects that go well beyond the mini- mums required for graduation. The watered down courses in core sub jects are being eliminated. As a re sult of these efforts, 82% of last years graduating class went on to higher education. The number of students taking and passing Ad vanced Placement Courses has in creased by more than 250% in the past four years. Charlotte- Mecklenburg public schools now have the largest international Bac calaureate program in the world. Its S3 graduates last year earned an average of i30,000 in scholarships. I believe that if we continue this education reform program the greatest gains will be made when the current third and fourth graders reach high school. In a recent na tional reading assessment test for fourth graders conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools scored well above the na tional average. For an urban school system to sc(Mre that well is a truly outstanding result. I encourage you to carefully consider your vote in the school board races, particularly in Districts 1 and 6 as well as in the at-laige race where candidates who are hostile to the very idea of public education are showing strength. Even mrae impOT- tant is the fact that a yes vote on the bond issue is now an absolute ne cessity. The issues of J(^ Murphy’s salary and personality and the per ceived grievances against past school boards must now be put aside. They cannot be changed by the passage or failure of the school bonds. The facts are that we have some schools in a shocking state of disrqMur, 3,000 students per year are entering the school system and need a place to sit and leam. I believe the Charlotte- Mecklenburg schools have earned your support. I cannot urge you strongly enough to vote for the bonds. FRED MARSH Charlotte Ed. Note: Mr. Marsh is not a candidate in either District 1 or 6. Deadline for the December issue is Friday, November 10! ineR/w 0 / ^ III K>^ m ju nie Fur ?