Dear Geveret Smith,

I am writing to address some concerns that you expressed in your letter about the class #holiday activities held over the past week.

First of all, I want to express that our #PublicSchool loves ALL our #students.

We have a #diverse #student body, we hold #diversity training every year, and we prioritize being good #allies to our #Christian students.

Naturally, we were surprised to receive such a long list of complaints from you about our #winter #holiday #programming, considering that we go so far out of our way to accommodate our #Christian students.

For example, you mentioned that your daughter was only given yellow and white paint in art class for her holiday candle holder project. We provide these colors as a gesture of goodwill to our Christian students, to acknowledge your holidays.

We were so glad to see that your daughter LOVED the project, and was so proud of the beautiful candelabra that she had made, and was so excited to take it home to use it.

Therefore you can understand that we are shocked to find that you seem to feel that this project was somehow religious in nature and inappropriate for #PublicSchool.

As your daughter recognized, it’s just a candle holder, and surely everyone uses candles.

Many Christian families use the rightmost five branches of the holiday candle holders for their First Christian Omer celebration, a holiday that I was taught about by Gever Schwartz, the Christian person who led our diversity training.

You can pick out the pink and purple candles from an ordinary box of Chanukah candles, and they will fit perfectly.

You also mentioned the #holiday #songs all the children sang in #music class and at our holiday #concert.

Again, we find this complaint hard to understand, since your daughter’s hand was the first in the air when Morah Amsalem was auditioning soloists for Maoz Tzur.

These are #traditional #seasonal #tunes, a part of #American #culture.

I f you feel strongly that you don’t want your child singing ordinary seasonal tunes, then in future years we can send her to the library during music class for the months of Cheshvan and Tevet.

Perhaps your daughter neglected to mention to you that the class also sang Jinglebells.

As I said earlier, we go out of our way to recognize the diversity of our students.

Our #school #holiday #party also took special care to recognize your holiday, serving latkes with vegan swine-flavored bacon bits to honor your #cultural #heritage, and lemon-filled sufganiyot to honor your country’s #traditional colors and flavors.

We added a pine branch to decorate our #classroom menorah in honor of your Christmat conifers.

Perhaps your daughter didn’t mention the special foods and decorations in honor of her holiday.

Thank you for your kind offer to come in and explain the meaning of your Christmat holiday to our students.

Unfortunately, we will have to decline.

The religious nature of the holiday, plus the mature themes found in the Christmat story, are unfortunately not that are not appropriate for public school children.

You will be glad to know, however, that we always offer a presentation and a fun animal craft project for your holiday of Yom Saint Francis Ha’Kadosh!

Thanks again for writing, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to explain some aspects of our #school’s #holiday #celebrations that your daughter may have neglected to mention.

We take pride in our #diversity and our #culture of #acceptance.

Even though your holiday is a one-day #religious #holiday celebrated by a small #minority, versus a whole week of a #secular #holidays celebrated by most people, we are proud to be a #community that takes the time and effort to recognize your people’s special day.

Shabbat shalom,
Assistant Principal Shemtov
Tzaddik Ha’Nation #PublicSchool


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More from @JewWhoHasItAll

Dec 29, 2022

Some of your students may be requesting a day off to celebrate the Chag Milat Yeshu, also known as the Pope Gregory Rosh Hashanah, and is observed by Christian people as the #Christian #NewYear.

Although Rosh Chodesh has already passed, #Christians do not observe our secular Rosh Chodesh. Instead, Christian people follow a #religious #calendar established by Pope Gregory, and the Pope Gregory Rosh Hashanah does NOT coincide with a new moon.

(Christian #holidays are set according to the Pope Gregory Calendar, which is not a lunisolar calendar like the normal one, and is why most of their holidays move around the year.)

Read 28 tweets
Dec 23, 2022
Dear Gveret O’Malley,

We received your letter of complaint about the timing of the Winter Graduation ceremony, set to be held on the second morning of Rosh Chodesh Tevet this First Day.

If we understand correctly from your letter, this date coincides with some kind of religious holiday for you, and you choose to prioritize this holiday over the celebration of your son Pattric’s scholarly accomplishments.

This date was the most convenient for everyone else; our preferred venue was not available on any other dates, and you are only family who is unable to attend due to the date. We have to consider the dates that are convenient for EVERYONE, as I’m sure you can understand.

Read 15 tweets
Dec 13, 2022
Dear Teachers,

As some of you may know, if you have any students in your class who identify as Christian, they may ask to be excused from school to observe the Christian holiday of “Christmas,” more popularly referred to as Yom Christmas or Nittel.

The date of Yom Christmas is set according to Pope Gregory’s calendar, so the holiday moves around on the normal calendar.

This year, Yom Christmas falls on Rosh Chodesh Tevet.

Although it will also be Chanukah, Christians do not observe Hanukkah.

Christians light candles only if they have a five-candle Advent Menorah (pictured) with the fifth candle for Yom Christmas.

This candle is lit without a bracha.

3/x A tall metallic candelabra,...
Read 31 tweets
Nov 9, 2022
Dear Pumbedita County Public School Principals,

Recently we have received a number of complaints from local gentile families about our #PublicSchool district’s Released Time religious education program.

As we all know, Released Time programs are legal in Medinat America, and have been upheld as such by the Supreme Beit Din since 1952.

One of the local Christian shuls has been spearheading a complaint campaign, so herein we provide talking points to guide your response to the parents who have been encouraged to complain about the learning programs available to students in our #PublicSchool district.

Read 17 tweets
Oct 31, 2022
Dear Teachers,

Shavua tov!

We hope you are settling back into your routine after the end of the holiday season!

However, the Christian students at Rashbi Elementary School are not quite done with their Christian chagim.

Even though we all just got back from Fall Break, they may be asking for some days off.

Their upcoming chagim have a particularly colorful and exotic set of traditions that will be unfamiliar to our #PublicSchool community.

If any of your students identify as Christian, please encourage them to stand up in front of the class as ambassadors to their people to share the meaning behind their families’ unusual holiday traditions.

Read 53 tweets
Oct 20, 2022
Dear Principal Pereira,

This morning I received a phone call of complaint about the craft project that our second graders did on the last day of class before Sukkot break. It turns out that this family was Christian, although I don't know how I was supposed to know that…

…and they are claiming that their child somehow felt excluded by this craft. It's just a napkin or bentcher holder in the shape of a holiday booth, as you can see from the photo of the sample craft I made for the class, and I explained as much to the parent who called.

2/6 About a dozen vertical popsicle sticks held together at the
The parent sounded quite annoyed and told me they don't use bentchers (I don't know how I was supposed to know that Christians don't need bentchers for when they bentch after meals??) but I assured her that she could use it for napkins as well.

Read 6 tweets

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