Thank You From Schoolteacher
As a retired educator from the Philadelphia public schools who is also a member of the Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools (grassroots organization dedicated to preserving public schools), I was interested in reading Sophie Panzer’s article on “Jewish Teachers Express Concern about Schools District’s Reopening Plans” (Feb. 18).
I was so appreciative of her research on the environmental issues in the buildings, the teachers interviewed for the article and the history of the labor movement including the importance of teacher labor leader Karen Lewis who recently died. It was one of the most in-depth articles on the current problems of teaching and reopening during the pandemic that I’ve read. Thank you so much for your coverage of a topic I deeply care about.
Ilene Blitzstein Poses | Philadelphia
Student Is Right to Be Concerned
Thank you, Sophia Rodney (“I’m a Student and I’m Afraid of Where My Party Is Headed,” Jan. 28). Being concerned about anti-Semitism on campuses across the country and by certain congresswomen promoting anti-Israel BDS is commendable and should be supported by your fellow classmates, not criticized as “Trumpianism.”
These congresswomen — Omar, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez — should be ostracized for their blatant anti-Semitism.
Kathleen M. Levin | Philadelphia
Overcoming Willful Blindness
When Donald Trump began his run for president in 2015, he was characterized by Sen. Ted Cruz as a pathological liar. Soon Cruz and millions of others ignored the lies and Trump won the election. Needlessly, the endless lying continued throughout his presidency. Rabbi Janine Jankovitz is right in condemning those who turned a blind eye to his behavior (“The Question of Unity,” Jan. 28).
Over the years, the SPLC and the ADL have provided our security services with data that has supplemented their own noting that the biggest threat to our democracy is from white supremacy. Yet Trump invoked his Orwellian mantra about the election (I won, it was stolen) in spite of the evidence against it. The result was the riotous insurrection led by white supremacists.
As of this writing, there are many in the media and in Congress who are downplaying the seriousness of the revolt and the part white supremacists played. Lest we forget, white supremacists hate Jews as much as any other race, color or creed. Once again, willful blindness plagues our body politic. Though anti-Semitism may not end in our lifetime, parading and preaching it ought to be a hate crime punishable by law or we will continue to see T-shirts emblazoned ‘Camp Auschwitz’ and worse. l
Nathan Farbman | Philadelphia