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May 03, 2007 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-05-03

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Anti-Semitic Image?

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May 3 • 2007


Bloomfield Hills school board
candidates' mailing criticized.

Don Cohen
Special to the Jewish News

lack of judgment or she is not being
Superintendent Gaynor issued a
statement that, in part, said: "We are
campaign mailing from two
shocked and disappointed that board
school board candidates in
of education candidates would inject
the May 8 Bloomfield Hills
religion into both the race and the
election has been described as utiliz-
high school bond proposal. Those
ing anti-Semitic imagery. It has added
heat to an already hotly contested race. issues should be decided on their
merits. Prejudice has no place in our
The mailing from husband-and-
lives and is contradictory to the diver-
wife candidates Jenny and Don
sity we embrace and celebrate in our
Greenwell of Bloomfield Hills features
a wizard setting a pile of money on
Anti-Defamation League Michigan
fire. His flowing robe features a promi-
nent Jewish star among other symbols. Region Executive Director Betsy
Kellman had no judgment about
Jenny Greenwell says the intent was
the Greenwells, but the imagery was
to show the 6,000-student
clear to her. "This is blatant, stereo-
school district is wasting
typical anti-Semitic symbolism," said
money, particularly with
Kellman, noting the prominent Jewish
a board-backed plan
star, the long fingernails and the burn-
to replace its two high
ing money. "It goes back to some of
schools, an issue also
the old canards!'
on the ballot.
Kellman says there have been
"We are running for
issues in the community before,
the board because the
citing concerns about a divide
kids aren't getting what
between the
they deserve, and what
more Jewish
they're getting is not
and diverse
because of anyone's reli-
gion',' Greenwell says.
"I missed it; that is all This image was on a cam-
paign mailin g from candidates side of the district
there is to if,' she said
and D on Greenwell.
and the Bloomfield
of the Jewish star. "I'm
Hills side as well
not making excuses. I'm
making apologies. I'm extremely sorry as false accusations of anti-Semitism
against a previous school board can-
that this happened!'
She says they will throw out the cop- didate.
Jewish community members agreed
ies they intended to distribute at the
the image was a problem, but were
polls and will send a letter of apology
divided on whether it was a message
to the approximately 4,500 likely vot-
or a mistake.
ers who received the material.
"To me, it was a blatant attempt to
"We'll do everything we can to
say the Jewish members of the board
address it," she said.
are wasting our money;' said Diane
"I think the piece itself is highly
offensive and insensitive and is counter Greenley of West Bloomfield, who
to what we teach our kids in our school termed the mailing anti-Semitic. "It is
very disturbing, very divisive. It's try-
district',' said school board President
ing to make one community into two."
Steve Weiss, who is Jewish, as are
Suretta Must of Bloomfield Hills,
superintendent Dr. Steven Gaynor and
board Vice President David Lubin, who who supports the Greenwells, said,
"I am strongly aware and sensitive
is up for re-election.
to anti-Semitism. "I believe her:'
"That picture is Moses," Weiss said.
Must said after speaking with Jenny
"There is the burning bush and the
scepter; the whole Charlton Heston
"I don't think they would want to
[movie] imagery. It is very disturbing:"
hurt the Jewish community. Why would
He doubts the Greenwells would not
she do this before an election when
closely review their main campaign
they can win on real issues? It would
mailing. "For Jenny to pretend there is
be stupid, and she's not stupid."
no symbolism is either an incredible


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