Support for ORT
A friend once told me that every August there’s a Christmas song she can’t get out of her head. You know it: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
That’s right, our children are heading back to school. They’ll be asking for help with homework, they’ll need to be driven to myriad after-school activities, and they’ll need help navigating the complex social issues that come with being a kid.
It’s a good time to reflect — and be grateful for — the quality education our children are privileged to have. Whether in a Jewish day school, a public school, or any of the private schools around Atlanta, we can sometimes take for granted the opportunity our kids have to learn reading, problem solving and the social skills needed to be successful adults.
It’s also a time of year I’m reminded of how many children around the world, including in Israel and the United States, don’t have access to a quality education and what that means for their future. That’s why I became involved with ORT. In the world of Jewish nonprofits, ORT is the only one that addresses the educational needs of at-risk children and young adults around the globe, Jews and non-Jews alike.
On Aug. 7 you read in the Atlanta Jewish Times about Hodayot, a boarding school in Israel that houses, educates and provides technical training to some of Israel’s most at-risk children. To them, Hodayot is not just their school; it’s their only home. To many, it’s also the only family they have.
However, the sorely needed renovation Hodayot requires to meet the highest educational standards ORT provides could cost upward of $1 million — a daunting amount, but far less than what our community has spent to make Atlanta Jewish Academy, Davis Academy, Epstein and Temima the showplaces they are. If everyone were to earmark a small percentage of annual giving to Hodayot — perhaps 1 to 2 percent — we could accomplish our goal by year’s end.
Perhaps more than any other, our community understands the importance and transformative nature of a quality education. So please call the ORT Atlanta office at 404-327-5266 or mail a check with “Hodayot” on it to ORT Atlanta, 270 Carpenter Drive, Suite 360, Atlanta, GA 30328, and give what you can.
I’ll be making my tax-deductible commitment. I hope you’ll join me.
Kerri Katz, Norcross, president, ORT Atlanta
Not a Blip
Leo Frank’s murder “a blip on the line of history,” as Sherry Frank said (“A Century of Awkward Silence,” Aug. 14)? Really?
If this is widely believed, then I guess that the Confederate flag is just a blip, albeit it larger than Leo Frank, on the line of history. We shouldn’t just focus on this flag and what it represents, but we should celebrate the participation of African-Americans in Atlanta in contrast to them being scapegoated, enslaved, murdered, raped.
I don’t think this would go over well in the whole community, and I think that not knowing about the Leo Frank case would be a tragedy. Yes, we should celebrate the positive, but it’s important to know the negative and to learn from our mistakes. It’s a tragedy not to know about and to learn from all tragedies.
Walter Kolesky, Atlanta
Misleading About Rabbis
I found the headline in your online (“Ga. Rabbis Signal Support for Deal,” Aug. 18) and print (“Rabbis Urge Deal’s OK,” Aug. 21) editions to be highly misleading.
The first headline implies that most, if not all, of Georgia’s rabbis support the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. The article itself, however, notes that only three of Georgia’s rabbis expressed this support by signing a letter from the organization Ameinu.
With probably 75 to 100 rabbis in Georgia, three is a trivial sample. Indeed, had the Atlanta Jewish Times wanted to present a picture of the positions of Georgia’s rabbis toward the deal, the newspaper could have easily surveyed all of the rabbis in the state. That only three of the state’s rabbis signed the letter on behalf of Ameinu suggests that this position is an insignificant minority.
In the case of the second headline, found in the print edition, the article would have been more meaningful had it focused on the 340 signatories nationally who signed the Ameinu letter. The article then might have provided some balance to the articles regarding Rep. Barry Loudermilk’s and Federation’s opposition to the Iran deal. Rather than the article leading with the three Georgia rabbis who signed the letter, that paragraph should have come last.
Steven Chervin, Dunwoody
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