Document 67268

Page 8 T
editorial & letters
The Canadian Jewish News › February 14, 2013
An independent community newspaper
serving as a forum for diverse viewpoints
Publisher and Proprietor:
The Canadian Jewish News, a corporation without share capital.
Head Office:
1500 Don Mills Rd., Suite 205, North York, Ont. M3B 3K4
Summit on education
or many years, the elephant in the room of communal Jewish life has been the cost of Jewish education.
Tuition fees at Jewish day schools are deplorably and
often quite impossibly high for the vast majority of young
families. This is especially the case in Ontario, where the
provincial government contributes nothing to the non-religious portion of private Jewish day schools. But it is also true
in Quebec, where, even with governmental assistance, the
tuition costs are severely prohibitive for most young people.
As if exhausted by the many valiant but failed efforts over
the years – again, especially in Ontario – to help reduce the
cost of Jewish education, the community is no longer even
publicly discussing the situation. The elephant sits in the middle of our lives, uncorralled, adversely affecting our future.
But the silence is unacceptable. It is an abrogation of the
collective community responsibility that was, not so long
ago, the zealously implemented first priority of community
leaders. It sends an unmistakable message to young parents
that the community is indifferent and uncaring regarding
the Jewish education of their children. It shouts, frankly, of
community defeat. We must, therefore, break the silence,
point to and rein in the elephant and at the very least, publicly resume the discussion. Three events in quick succession over the past two weeks provide the impetus for doing
so. They are further compelling evidence that the subject is,
and always will be, a high public priority.
In Las Vegas, billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife,
Miriam, donated $50 million to the three Jewish day schools
that comprise the Adelson Education Campus. The schools
serve some 600 students from preschool to high school. In
Toronto, the Leo Baeck Day School announced a unique tuition subsidy initiative of up to $5,000 per student for eligible
families. In Montreal, the Jewish People’s and Peretz Schools
and the Bialik High School in Montreal (JPPS/Bialik) announced a new policy of tuition reduction and freezes.
All three initiatives are aimed at preventing parents from
removing their children from school and bringing new students into the schools. We commend the initiatives and their
originators. However, a wider, more comprehensive, more
imaginative, wall-to-wall, community solution is necessary
to ensure that as many parents as possible can afford to provide a Jewish education to their children.
As a first step in devising such a strategy, we call upon our
communal leaders to convene a summit meeting about Jewish education. The summit would examine Jewish education in all its future possibilities and would involve as wide a
swath of concerned individuals as possible: businesspeople,
academics, educators, policy-makers, parents, grandparents,
industrialists, philanthropists, clergy, lay leaders and any one
else with wisdom or experience to offer on the subject.
The status quo is an affront to conscience. We owe this
search for solutions as much to our parents and our grandparents as to our children and our grandchildren. Inaction
is not an option. Community leaders must remove the elephant immediately.
25 years ago in The CJN
Israel’s Likudnik prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, and its
Laborite foreign minister, Shimon Peres, both expressed
enthusiasm for a U.S. peace proposal that envisioned some
form of autonomy for the West Bank and Gaza “within weeks”.
Editorial Advisory Board: Maurice Benzacar, Michael Brown, Donald Carr, Rabbi Michael Dolgin, Jake Goldstein, Jeffrey
Kopstein, Keith Landy, Lou Ronson, Alan Sandler, Rabbi Philip Scheim, Mike Shriqui, Pamela Medjuck Stein, Rabbi Chaim
Strauchler, Ehud Telem, Nelson Wiseman.
Absurd position on Israeli election
Many political columnists have suggested that
the one reason why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost a number of seats in the recent Israeli election is the fact that he made little effort to re-engage
with the Palestinians on peace talks. The absurdity
of this position is that the only precondition that
Israel has placed on reopening peace talks is that
the Palestinian Authority recognize the existence of
a Jewish state. This, the president of the Palestinian
Authority has consistently refused to do. Add to that
the publicly stated position of Hamas, the rulers of
Gaza who are soon to be reunited with the PA, that
Israel must be wiped off the face of the Earth and
that Palestinians are entitled to every inch of the
State of Israel. It is ludicrous to suggest with that
mindset that there is any point in Israel meeting
with the PA. There is not one nation on Earth that
would negotiate with a group publicly committed to
destroying its population. Bert Raphael
Thornhill, Ont.
* * *
No preconditions
as bloodsuckers, warmongers and descendants of
apes and pigs, does not sound like a good partner
for peace.
Israel returned Gaza and received an ongoing
barrage of rockets in return. One can only imagine the predicament that Israel would be in had it
returned the Golan Heights. With the Iron Dome,
land once again becomes a vital component as a
security buffer. Peace will only be possible when the
Palestinians appreciate its value and sit down with
Israel for direct talks without preconditions.
Sam Mitnick
Cote St. Luc, Que.
* * *
Diversity of Israeli opinion
Kudos to The CJN for reporting the remarks of
the leading Israeli academic Hanan Alexander, who
said, “Israel will benefit from criticism” (“‘Abandon
romantic fantasies’ of Israel: prof,” Jan 31). Despite
being told by our communal leaders not to criticize the Netanyahu government, and despite Israeli
NGOs and political parties other than Likud being
described as “fringe radicals” or even “terrorists,”
the paper has shown courage in impartially reporting the real diversity of Israeli opinion.
Charles Heller
* * *
Smadari Meiri dismisses my reference to UN
Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for
“every state in the area to live in peace within secure
and recognized borders free from threats and acts of
Anshel Wise helped her family
violence” by noting that subsequent to the 1967 Six
Day War, Israel promised to return
I am writing in response to the
areas of captured land in return for
SeeJN photograph with the caption
LET THEM GO… headed “Anshel Wise’s cigar store
defensible borders and recognition
as a sovereign state (Letters, Jan. 31).
and steamship office” (Jan. 31).
Ron Arad, Zachary Baumel,
Meiri should remember that
My father, Louis Goldberg, came
Zvi Feldman, Guy Hever,
on Sept. 1, 1967, 13 Arab states
to Canada in 1924, leaving his wife
Yehuda Katz
responded to such an Israeli offer
and four children in Poland. After
with three nos: no peace, no recworking for one year, he found
ognition, no negotiations. As recently as Nov. 28, himself short of cash and could not afford to bring
2010, the “moderates” of Fatah formulated the three his family to Canada. Anshel Wise became aware of
nos of Ramallah: no to Israel as a Jewish state, no to this and lent him the remainder of the money interinterim borders, no to land swaps.
est-free. My father did in fact bring my mother and
Meiri asks what has Israel done since 1967, other siblings back as a result of his generosity. My father
than build settlements and vandalize Palestinian paid the loan back and remained a faithful client of
properties. Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt for a Wise’s for the rest of his life. Wise was an exceptioncold peace that is quickly thawing into a hot prob- ally generous, outstanding man.
lem. The leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood
Estelle Budish
government, Mohamed Morsi, who refers to Jews
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