Kvetch ‘N Kvell: Perelman Leaders, Repaying Student Debt


Article Overlooked Past Leaders
Congratulations to Judy Groner on her retirement and her many accomplishments at PJDS (“Perelman Day School Leader to Retire,” Dec. 23).

It is unfortunate that the article failed to acknowledge the many achievements of previous administrations and the dedicated faculty who laid the foundation that enabled Perelman to continue growing. Much work and many devoted people made Perelman the institution it is today.

Rita Ross | Wynnewood

Student Debt and the American Dream
In Rabbi Emily Cohen’s op-ed about student debt relief (“We’re in a Shmita Year. So Why Aren’t American Jews Talking More About Student Debt Relief?”, Dec. 23), she describes herself as “unbelievably lucky” that her parents paid her undergraduate education costs “due to generational wealth resulting from many Jews being coded as white after World War II.”

As a parent who paid the undergraduate costs of my children, I would be extremely offended if they felt the same. Luck has nothing to do with it and neither does being “coded as white.” Parents set priorities, and in Jewish families, education is at the top of the list. We worked hard, eschewed fancy cars and extravagant vacations and put away money for our children’s education from the day they were born.

My family didn’t automatically accrue “generational wealth,” and I would be quite surprised if Rabbi Cohen’s family somehow did. There is no shame coming from a family that works hard to realize the American dream.

Neil Shapiro | Blue Bell

Loans Are Meant to be Repaid
Rabbi Cohen’s op-ed (“We’re in a Shmita Year. So Why Aren’t American Jews Talking More About Student Debt Relief?”, Dec, 23) points out that she has been lucky with her student debt and many are not as fortunate. But there are several points she does not address.

The first is simple. If you take out a loan you are expected, legally and morally, to repay it. Rights come with responsibilities, and usually the latter is not mentioned. Secondly, the lender has debts to pay that are contingent upon the borrower living up to their end of the bargain. Thirdly, there are many ways to offset debt, including employer repayment plans (as part of a compensation packet); and joining the military to get GI Bill-type subsidies (which paid for my graduate degree).

Another option is skipping college and learning a trade, which is much cheaper and often pays better. And if one decides to go to college, get a degree with some value to potential employers, thus broadening future employment prospects.

A good lesson in life is to pay your way, not allowing yourself to be a victim. It would make for a much better life down the line in most cases. Before looking for student loan relief, look at the many options available before you decide to assume it but do not make someone else pay for your questionable decision. As a society, we would all be better for it.

Matt Segal | Cary, North Carolina


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