As an educator and a Jewish parent, I need to respond to your rather poorly investigated and reported article about the inclusion of “Mein Kampf” as an elective reading on the Galloway School summer reading list (“Galloway Sees Value in Reading ‘Mein Kampf,’” Sept. 1).
In response to a request from some of the Jewish students (who number about a third of the Galloway student population), that reading was included as an elective reading — and conjoined with mentorship by Gordon Mathis, an insightful and inspiring history teacher and past head of the Upper School, as well as the Anti-Defamation League (which was invited to participate by Galloway).
If any of my students or my son had wanted to read “Mein Kampf,” that is exactly the path that I hope good educators would take. I am appalled that ADL and the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust were against inclusion. As we all know, students who are curious about the work and want to read it will find a way, perhaps without good guidance as to the fallacies of the work or its place in history
I know Galloway, and the headline of your article was designed to breed negativity on the part of your readers toward a school that is a wonderful place for Jewish children and young adults as well as their parents. I know Head of School Suzanna Jemsby and Gordon Mathis very well. Their interest as educators, among other things, is to teach students to think critically, and they are superior at developing that skill in young people. I’m sorry that your reporter didn’t take the time to get to know them and understand that their decision was the right thing for Galloway and the young people they are guiding and inspiring every day. As Jemsby said, it was the right choice for the Galloway community, although it might not have been right for other communities.
Lastly, I am sad that ADL concluded that “the choice of ‘Mein Kampf’ was made without an awareness of the academic and pedagogical guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust.” That is an insult to educators they do not know and to the Jewish families who have placed their faith in Jemsby and the Galloway staff.
— Sandy Ferko, Atlanta
Irma and Obamacare
Our delegates to Congress seem to have no trouble opening their hearts and our national treasury to rebuild the infrastructures devastated by Irma and her cyclonic siblings. Yet at least half of them, including our own Georgians, close their hearts and our purse to our most precious resource, our citizens.
Do they care how their fellow Americans now suffer and will chronically suffer from the toxins, bacteria, molds, viruses and cancers before Irma, as a result of Irma and long after Irma becomes a meteorological footnote?
I doubt our anti-Obamacare politicians stay up at night worrying about their own health insurance coverage and affordability. In the meantime, they don’t seem to worry about leaving millions, figuratively and literally, to hang out to dry.
— Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, Atlanta