Thursday, October 11, 2007


The little guy is behaving almost like a kindergartener at his regular preschool, which is a good thing.

BUT, at his religious school, he is being put back into pre-K level because of his behavior, which is not a good thing.

If there were truly a hell in Judaism (well, the closest thing to it is Gehenna, which has been transmogrified into a concept of hell over time), I'd tell those responsible to go there. Only problem is, I think the problem might be us. We're encouraging the kid to be a nonconformist thinker and learner by enrolling him in a Montessori program, in which he has done quite well for the past school year and the first few months of this year. We try to put him in a more traditional, kindergarten-style learning environment for a couple of hours every Sunday morning, and he's deemed too young, too active, and too hard to handle for the class. If he behaved anything like he did at the storytime held at my sister-in-law's synagogue service this past Friday night, I can see why they'd want to hold him back. Any kid who jumps up in the middle of a midrashic tale and asks what "the Jewish word for vacuum cleaner" is is clearly not ready for kindergarten-level instruction.

I'm just glad we're not orthodox...

I do know who deserves a prime spot in Gehenna, though. I checked my email from my Queens synagogue's listserve and found this lovely article:

(CBS) Ann Coulter is stirring up controversy again.

The conservative commentator said this week that the nation would be better off if all Americans were Christian and that she wants "Jews to be perfected, as they say."

Appearing on the CNBC show The Big Idea, Coulter was asked to give her version of a better America. She told the show's host, Donny Deutsch, that it would look like New York City during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Pressed for details, Coulter said, "People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America ..."

"Christian ... so we should be Christian?" Deutsch interrupted. "It would be better if we were all Christian?"

Coulter answered "Yes" once, and after being asked the same question again by an obviously surprised Deutsch, answered "Yes" a second time.

When Coulter tried to shift the conversation to the diversity of Christian megachurches, the show's host brought the topic back to Coulter's statements about Jews.

Media Matters, the liberal media watchdog group which is publicizing the encounter, provided this transcript:

DEUTSCH: ... we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then, or ...


DEUTSCH: Really?

COULTER: Well, it's a lot easier. It's kind of a fast track.

DEUTSCH: Really?

COULTER: Yeah. You have to obey.

DEUTSCH: You can't possibly believe that.


"We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say," Coulter said later in the show. "That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express."

"Candidly, I had her on not to talk about politics but to talk about her brand strategy," Deutsch later told AdWeek . "Whether you like her or not, her strategy is to be extreme and that's a way to make money. But because it's her, it drifted into politics."

"I simply asked her a question, something like, 'If the world was her way, what would it look like?' And she said something to the effect that everybody would be Christians," Deutsch told AdWeek. "I was somewhat baffled and asked if that meant there would be no Buddhists or Jews and I think her words were, 'perfected' Jews [would be OK]."

This blogger alerted us all to this asinine exercise in wasted breath that's coming to my neck of the woods. I'd advise any and all of us "Jews in progress" (by Coulter's reckoning) to give these events a wide berth and advise any and all students and nearby residents to boycott the presence of this pageant of ignorance at Tulane University. Express your displeasure in no uncertain terms to those responsible for bringing this on an already beleaguered city. Muslims don't have a monopoly on fascism. Where the heck do we think they got the idea from? Yes, the ones enacting an oppressive interpretation of Sharia law on this planet ought to be brought to justice. Just check your own glass house while you're at it.

Scratch what I said in the footnotes of my last post. Cream pies are too good for Coulter. Save some of your moldy debris from your flooded homes and neighborhoods for her sorry self as a preview of the Gehenna that awaits her.


Maitri said...

I don't think putting a child in Montessori school has everything to do with behavioral issues. Some parents don't believe in it, but a good ol' thwack across the bottom with a warning to cool it works just as well.

My parents put me in all kinds of super-structure environments growing up (school, Hinduism classes, Indian dance, summer camps). I acted up and rebelled ALL the time, until I was about 6 and my mom had a Come To Krishna conversation with me about rudeness, politeness and consequences.

Different strokes for different folks, but I'm just sayin'.

E said...

So is your synagogue planning a picket of some sort? I won't forget my horns and tail.

Leigh C. said...

I don't think Montessori has much to do with behavioral issues, either. I think it's more of a case of professional teachers vs nonprofessionals. Most of the folks teaching religious school are doing it as a paid volunteer position. The Montessori school...well, they are trained teachers with a tad more experience in behavior management. They've managed the little guy's behavior for quite a while, now, and have been able to do it very well. to the religious school director's credit, she has said he's doing typical ehavioral stuff for his age, but then she thought he had just turned four, not that he was going on five.

And, as for any protests of Ann Coulter, I don't know if my synagogue is gonna do squat. I have a source or two connected to the Tulane Hillel house, so I'll check over there first. If this were my Queens synagogue, I know SOME contingent would be organized for a protest, like they did when Ahmedinejad came to NYC.

saintseester said...

Wait a minute. Ann is telling us that America's Megachurches are full of diversity? Diversity in what? Polyester suits?

Leigh C. said...

Ah, yes, religion according to Ann Coulter. Gotta wonder what kind of Christian she is...but then again, I'm not a highly observant Jew.

I really can't win for losing, here. I'm not observant enough for many in the Jewish community, and I'm not "perfected" and can't be welcomed into the Christian community.

Life is so tough.

Funky-Rat (a/k/a Railyn) said...

I used to interrupt Jr Church all the time with strange questions. The teacher would get annoyed, perhaps because she couldn't answer them. Don't stop raising the little one to be a free thinker - not that you would. I think I turned out ok.

I don't know what to say about the "perfected" deal. It's not a theology that my church teaches. There is only one perfect being, and she isn't it. There also is no "fast track" to religious enlightenment. And you would be welcome there - one of our lay leaders (who also happens to be the husband of my landlady) is Jewish. I find his perspective on things to be refreshing, as do others. And no, I don't go to a megachurch. I have my opinion on those, but I was raised that if you can't say anything nice.....