I just returned from voting for passage of the Bedford School District budget. While there are those who want to see significant cuts in the school budget, I believe that most of these cuts would be detrimental to the education of our children.
I have a grandson, Mason, who is about to begin kindergarten in one of our elementary schools. I want him, and all of our children, to have the richest education possible. Yes, that education will come to include learning math, science, social studies, writing, and English. But just as important as those subjects are, so too are the lessons that his heart will come to learn. I want our children to learn about tolerance, diversity, and respect for all children, different as they may appear to be. I want them to learn that we each have a role to play in making our society and world for those who long for freedoms and opportunities that we enjoy as Americans.
Just this morning I received a video of a kindergarten graduation ceremony in Gaza. It showed young children dressed in military uniforms and carrying toy guns, displaying the skills they had learned so that they might one day carry out attacks against Israel. I encourage you to go to Google and look up “GAZA KINDERGARTEN GRADUATION.” After watching this short video, you will better understand why the prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians seem to be remote at the present time.
“Teach your children well,” declares the song. Teach them that war and hatred of others is evil. Teach them that every human life is sacred, and that the most worthy education is concerned with living with open hearts and eyes toward our fellow human beings.
Rabbi David Greenberg