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October 13, 2005 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-10-13

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Making Amends

The history of teacher, adminis-
tration and board relations at
Hillel Day School of Metropolitan
Detroit has been one in which the
groups actively sought consensus
to educate young people imbued
with Jewish knowledge, loyal to
traditions and acting to strengthen
the Jewish people.
Imagine the dismay of one
party to this cohesive effort when
the Hillel executive board upended
the almost-concluded negotiations
a few days before school was to
commence because a new ruling
offered the opportunity of short-
term gain. It would have been
wiser to conclude the negotiations
and open a dialogue with the staff
on the new situation and the
inevitable changes it would neces-
sitate ("School Days': Sept. 1, page
Hillel Day School belongs to our
entire Jewish community, to every-
one who contributes to
Federation's Annual Campaign as
well as to those of us who have
made individual commitments to
the school. We believe there is time
to make amends. We earnestly
urge the Hillel board to set up con-
sultations with their staff and re-
establish the pre-existing trust. It
is necessary to salve the present
hurt and act as one so the laudable
mission to which all subscribe will
be successful.

William and Irene Schumer

Bloomfield Hills

Back Hillel Board

We feel blessed to have the
opportunity to send our children
to such a special school as Hillel
Day School. The teachers are won-
derful and treat each child with
respect and, in return, they are and
will continue to be treated in the
same manner.
The school stands on a moun-


tain of stability. Never before has
the school run at the level of edu-
cational, administrative and oper-
ational quality and efficiency as
now This is due, in no small part,
to the contributions of the quali-
fied and dedicated educators that
it employs. This will be enhanced
by the administration being able
to operate the school, within the
boundaries of good communica-
tion and mutual respect, in a
rational and effective manner.
The court decision stated that a
private school does not have to
recognize unions. Such a school
does not have to recognize any
union. With or without a union, it
is in the administration's best
interest to keep teachers feeling
positive about their work ("School
Days',' Sept. 1, page 36).
Unlike public schools, Hillel is a
Jewish independent school and
needs to recruit stu-
dents. It is in the
schools best interest to
retain the best teach-
ers with a competitive
compensation and
benefits. It is time to
move forward.
The administration
has invited teachers to serve on
committees that address educa-
tional and non-educational mat-
ters and to involve the teachers in
the educational process and in
other job-related issues.
The board knows that while
some teachers feel strongly that
collective bargaining should be
reinstated, we stand behind the
board of directors' decision. We
agree with the board's statement
that "through positive communi-
cation and mutual respect, we will
stay true to the mission of the

Janice Traison and Karen Levin

West Bloomfield

Labor's Role


Yoni Goldstein


Reinstate Union

As a former teacher for more
than 20 years at Hillel Day School,
I would like to express my deepest
disappointment and regret at the
decision by the Hillel board of
directors to withdraw recognition
of the teachers' association
("School Days',' Sept. 1, page 36).
In my decades of teaching at
Hillel, there was never an issue that
was not resolved in good faith and
through negotiation and commu-
nication. Indeed, it was the teach-
ers' commitment to dialogue,
mutual respect and a give-and-
take approach with administration
that led us to form the teachers'
association 40 years ago.
It is my fervent hope that the
board of directors will consider
their responsibility to the future of
Jewish education and re-instate
the teachers' association so that
Jewish education may continue to

Last Week's Results

Shaky Fronds
As Sukkot nears, the Jewish
world is shaken by a looming
lulav shortage.

Have all the natural disasters or
the economy changed your plans
for contributing to charity this

Last Week's Results
Do you agree with President
Bush nominating Harriet Miers
for U.S. Supreme Court justice?

Read about it on Jewish.com.

I'll give more
I'll give less

27% said yes
73% said no

To vote, click on JNOnline.com.


I am a Hillel Day School alum-
nus (1996) and a graduate of the
University of Michigan. I am writ-
ing to express my concern that the
teachers' right to associate and to
engage in collective bargaining at
Hillel Day School is being threat-
ened by its board ("School Days','
Sept. 1, page 36).
Modern Judaic history consis-
tently holds at its core a rich tradi-
tion of labor rights and social jus-
tice. By resisting the teachers' right
to organize, the board not only is
reneging on the welfare of the
workforce, but also a fundamental
part of Jewish cultural values.
In the diaspora, Jewish teachers
are responsible for the continua-
tion of our cultural traditions and
intellectual legacies. As a commu-
nity, a quality labor environment
for our teachers is a quality educa-
tional environment for our stu-


Menachem Glaser

West Bloomfield

Embrace Friends

My parents and family were sur-
vivors of the Holocaust. We
learned as a people during that
awful time that a true friend will
ultimately give his life for you as so
many did during World War II.
Our friends fought against world
tyranny; that fight was also for the
cause of life for our Jewish people.
The same dark storm clouds are
on the horizon again today. Enemy
extremists hide behind a religious
mindset that has remained stead-
fast in its commitment to push
Israel into the sea.
Today, more than ever, our
Jewish people need friends who
will stand with Israel and die for
her if needed. There is no better
friend of the Jewish people today
than the Evangelical Christian
community. In fact, they are the
only true friends we have!
"Thank God for Israel Day" is an
event that simply shows
Evangelical Christian support for
the Jewish people. There is no hid-
den agenda of proselytizing during
this event ("Friendship Or Not?"
Sept. 29, page 67). Nothing is asked
of the Jewish people who attend
other than to accept the support,
in the form of trees for Israel, from
their best friend in the world
Do best friends have differences
in theology? Yes. Do we hide our
differences from each other? No.
The upcoming event is a time to
celebrate friendship. I hope many
Jewish people will come to show
their support for their friends rep-
resented in the Evangelical
Christian community.
I appreciate the Evangelical
community's support and friend-
ship toward our Jewish people. I

have learned that God is involved
in every detail of every moment of
our lives. He is with us in our joy
and he is with us in the midst of
our storms.

Ernie Pahlek


JARC's Inclusion

I am particularly proud that
Rhonda Spector's role with special
needs student Danny Friedman
was as a classroom assistant from
JARC's School Inclusion Program
("A Special Student',' Sept. 1, page
The program provides class-
room assistants, curriculum modi-
fication, therapeutic consultation
and teacher training so students
with disabilities can be included in
regular Jewish day school and pre-
school classrooms with their
same-aged peers. We work in close
partnership with teachers, admin-
istrators, parents and students to
achieve amazing results. The
changes are remarkable for the
child with special needs, and the
other students as well. They learn
not only sensitivity and under-
standing, but also that every per-
son has unique gifts and talents to
Danny is one of 19 students in
six area day schools who are cur-
rently participating in JARC's
School Inclusion Program. We
applaud these students and
schools, who together are showing
our entire community that we are
all more alike than different.


Chaya Leah (Ilene) Tinman,

School Inclusion Coordinator, JARC

Farmington Hills

Yes, Fame Games!

Letters on page 11

How To Send Letters:

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October 13 2005


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