I wish to thank Reading Public Schools on its recent successful, professional development day, Reading Institute Spring, which included a workshop on What It Means to Be Jewish. I was honored to have the opportunity to teach a packed roomful of educators about Jewish holidays, customs, ceremonies, symbols and more.
Ari Menes, a junior, spoke honestly about his feelings as a Jewish student at Reading High, specifically in response to the appearance of swastikas on school property over the past two years. Reading’s outreach to the Jewish community in such a meaningful way deserves the Jewish community’s thanks.
Before the start of the workshop, I experienced a moment of panic anticipating hardly anyone would attend. The outpouring of staff and the interesting and important questions they raised made me feel hopeful and supported as a Jew.
After the workshop ended, the teachers applauded Ari’s candor, making it clear that they supported him too.
Deborah L. Coltin