It is the best of times….and it is the worst of times. Jews across America have options of education on all academic levels. It is also facing a risk of government involvement in curriculae for some, expensive for many, and the center of anti-Semitism for most.
DonaldTrump was right in 2015, as a candidate running against 16 republicans, when he offered a solution to the high cost and low return of education in America. He ran with the hopes of diminishing or eliminating the federal level of The Department of Education.
Teachers unions, other school unions and progressive Democrats fought it. Then Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had her own agenda.
And then came COVID. Parents became education partners reminiscent of the days of PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations)
A new administration was elected with a new agenda. A Jewish Attorney General embarrassingly and infuriatingly called parents Domestic Terrorists and whistleblower teachers were facing illegal terminations.
Media from every angle is making money off of an education system promoting the denial of the Holocaust, skewing the history of European and Middle Eastern Jewish history and pushing violence and destruction of Israel.
Everyday, headlines scream education controversies affecting Jewish students, staff and taxpayers. Children and adults participating in public, private and homeschool education environments are all suffering as a result.
Recent Headlines talk about::
- Should hassidic schools allow government interference in curriculae mandating secular education or risk federal and state funding? Can they succeed in preventing it?
- Should we be removing the funding from CUNY schools that push BDS and anti-Semitism?
- With 50 Years of Title IX, are schools successful in fighting discrimination?
- Safety and Mental Illness in Classrooms - how is that approached?
- LGBTQ Pride in Schools and sex education - who decides?
- Declines in public school attendance - what is being done?
- Mayoral and local government control of education (e.g. see first headline) - dangerous?
And then there are:
- Budgets for 2022-2023
- Mask and vaccine mandates
- Meals in schools and changes in holiday schedules
We are involved in all of it. It’s our tax dollars that pay for it, regardless of whether we are parents of ten children or have no students involved.
Jews are front and center in every conversation. We can make the difference in future education decisions for everyone. People from the left like Deborah Lipstadt and Randi Weingarten have to come to the table with people like Morton Klein and Rabbi Aryeh Spero and elected officials on education committees and fight for quality education for all, highlighting important Jewish accomplishments and thousands of years of survival.
But that will never happen. And I am not being cynical, just realistic.
I have multiple emails from Weingarten basically calling me a pest for exposing weapons, mental illnesses, inaccurate facts within curriculum and state and federal laws routinely ignored and broken.
I faced retaliation and harassment. I still do.
Maybe if someone had listened, so many of those students of a decade ago wouldn’t be part of a generation of entitlement and anger.
What To Do
Getting involved in school boards is just a start. Remember that school boards involve all community members and act like a team player.
There is more. It’s an election year. Start to question every single person running for office. Research every incumbent’s voting records. Ignore social media words and press conferences and target information onto their actions. If they really care about education, they actually voted for it.
Local matters count. Jewish Assemblywoman Stacey Pfeffer Amato of southeastern Queens, including the religious areas of Far Rockaway, is a UFT member, in addition to being an elected official. She represents public schools filled with scandals and yeshivas fighting standardized lesson plans. Jewish staff in both are fighting for the survival of their careers.
Her mother is the former Assemblywoman and current Queens County Clerk, Audrey Pfeffer.
Here is a conflict of interest not many know about. But, if it happened to me, it could happen to you.
Audrey Pfeffer signed off on my case of an article 75. Anyone who works in law, or any participant in a lawsuit knows that the courts crawl slower than turtles. Can anyone legitimately believe and prove that Pfeffer actually read thousands of pages in 1 case during the two weeks of Christmas holiday vacation and not see the laws broken of perjury and evidence tampering when common sense legal novices pointed it out almost immediately?
Everything I reported as a whistleblower came true within months of her decision. Elected officials were arrested tied to my case for helping the school I worked in get away with hiding weapons, hitting children, not fulfilling required guidance and mandated services, teaching discrimination and questioning money being used for everything but what it was budgeted for.
Pfeffer had a personal conflict of interest. She should have removed herself from this and every case involving the teachers union that endorsed her and her daughter for decades. Think about Pfeffer-Amato’s ties to the public school controversies when going to the polls. Has she really spoken out against BDS in school assignments?
I bet there are others across the country on all levels of government that help promote education failure. The fact that both of these women are Jewish doesn’t help our reputation as honest or caring for all. They are part of the education problem, not the solution.
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting any harm or any riots by their homes. I’m suggesting using your power by voting. I am suggesting writing letters to editors, especially to Jewish media outlets.
I can’t believe that in my lifetime I watched New York, the center of American Jewish pride become New York, center of anti-Semitism and disgust by the ineffectiveness of both parties to fight anti-Semitism in our classrooms. It has made walking our streets, attending Jewish community centers and kosher restaurants, unsafe.
It’s time for all Jews to step up to the plate and play ball as if it’s the bottom of the ninth inning or everyone will be out and the game will be over!
Cindy Groszis The Jewess Patriot, Talk Radio’s Premiere Jewish Activist syndicated through Real Talk Radio and the Black and White Network. The show streams through iHeart, Spotify and Jewish Podcasts. She is the chair of Jewish Vote GOP and a Jewish advisor for many 2022 candidates. She can be reached through [email protected]