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February 10, 2016 5:08 pm

North Carolina Jewish Day School Embroiled in Legal Battle With Former Parents Over Tuition, Israel

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The Lerner Jewish Community Day School. Photo: Facebook.

The Lerner Jewish Community Day School. Photo: Facebook.

A legal battle between a Jewish elementary school and the parents of two children who no longer attend it is taking place in North Carolina, The Algemeiner has learned.

The Sandra E. Lerner Jewish Community Day School in Durham is suing Guy and Sloan Rachmuth for breaching the renewal contract they signed in 2014, committing to attendance and $20,000 tuition for their now 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son — $10,000 each — for the following academic year.

The Rachmuths are counter-suing the elementary school for fraud, claiming it had falsely portrayed itself as pro-Israel and exclusively Jewish.

Guy Rachmuth, an Israeli neuroscientist who has been living in the United States for the past 26 years, told The Algemeiner that he and his wife would never have gotten involved in a lawsuit if they had simply been allowed to change their mind after becoming dissatisfied and not send their kids back in the fall.

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Lerner Head of School Allison Oakes, explained why it was standard business practice to hold the Rachmuths to their contract – particularly when they had three opportunities to withdraw without penalty, and did not opt to do so on those dates.

“Independent schools depend on these signed agreements to build their budget, a majority of which goes to paying teachers’ salaries,” Oakes said. “We have to be able to give teachers guarantees about their employment for a new school year prior to the end of a current one.”

Oakes said that “because the Rachmuths’ reasons for leaving the school were based on perception and not fact, we could not grant them a non-cost withdraw.”

The Rachmuths argued that their perception about the school was based on events they experienced and subsequent affirmation from other sources.

The dispute surrounds a single academic year, 2014-2015, the one following the only period during which the Rachmuth children were pupils at Lerner, described by Oakes as a “non-affiliated school for all families who consider themselves Jewish.” In other words, it is not attached to a particular stream of Judaism, nor demands that students be Jews as defined by halacha, or Jewish law.

According to Sloan Rachmuth, who owns a number of pilates studios, the choice to send her kids to Lerner in the first place had to do with its pro-Israel orientation.

“They claimed, ‘Every member of our outstanding faculty has been carefully chosen to teach our children Jewish values, ethics and history,’” Guy Rachmuth added. “The school designates its teaching staff, even in the pre-school, ‘faculty,’ stressing their seriousness of Jewish education. Not truly knowing anyone who attended the school prior to us, we were sold on the Jewish community aspect the school promised. We were assured that Jewish identity and a love of Israel are at the core of our program.”

The school her children had been attending — the only other Jewish school in a 100-mile radius – gave her cause for serious pause when its Reconstructionist rabbi responded neutrally to an anti-Israel ad on a bus in her Chapel Hill neighborhood.

Sloan recounted that representatives at Lerner, on the other hand, “said they wouldn’t tolerate such a thing, and tried to recruit us.”

This, however, all happened before Oakes entered the picture. Her tenure as Head of School officially began after the Rachmuths had spent months complaining. When they met Oakes at the tail end of their stay at Lerner, “She was sympathetic and clearly pro-Israel.”

The Rachmuths told The Algemeiner how they came into conflict with the institution, “about six months into the year, and after we had signed the renewal contract.”

“Our son [six years old at the time] came home from school one day and asked, ‘Why does the map of Israel hurt people’s feelings?’” Sloan recalled. “So I raised hell. But it took me two months of canceled appointments to get the [previous] principal to meet with me. When she did, she said, ‘You know, you need to be more tolerant, because the map of Israel makes people feel unsafe in here and hurts their feelings.’”

Sloan said that after that, she was basically ignored, and decided to keep a low profile.

“Then came the war in Gaza,” said Guy, referring to Operation Protective Edge in July-August 2014. “And we were told that the school would not support Israel publicly in this fight because supporting Israel is a political decision. It was during that period that we met with the new Head of School [Oakes] and expressed our concerns about the lack of support for Israel. Documents would later show that the head of development and one of the teachers were pro-BDS. But she urged us to be more accepting of other views.”

Oakes told The Algemeiner that she has “to be careful about inquiring about employees’ political persuasions. Though I believe the development director’s opinions lean Left, she does not express any political opinions at school. As for the other person the Rachmuths mentioned, a teacher – an Israeli who was hired by my predecessor, I did not renew her contract. But just for the record, her views were never expressed at school either.”

Another point of contention surrounded the issue of prayer, specifically that of adding a prayer for Israel to the regular Jewish tefillot. The Rachmuths said Oakes told them that “saying a prayer for Israel is not developmentally appropriate.”

Oakes said this only applied to pre-schoolers. “We have tefilla [prayer] for the kids; the second-graders and older kids also say a prayer for Israel, because they have more knowledge and a greater understanding of it by then. Our kids all sing Hatikva [Israel’s national anthem].”

Oakes asserted firmly, “At Lerner, we are clear about our support for Israel, love of Israel, the culture, the people, the geography, the food, etc. We want our students to leave here striving to go to Israel.”

The Rachmuths said that they decided that summer not to send their kids to Lerner any more, which is why they didn’t pay tuition for 2014-2015.

“Lerner served us with a threatening letter in the fall and subsequently a lawsuit for the amount of the tuition,” Sloan said, adding that before counter-suing, they went to arbitration – and lost. “The arbitrator’s decision, which wasn’t binding, was that we signed a contract, so we have to pay.”

The two court cases are ongoing.

As for how the couple explained to their kids why they were not sent back to Lerner, Guy said, “We told them that we are fighting for Israel and against people who want Israel to be damaged.”

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  • OZJew

    Lots of trolls posting comments here. Too many comments within short span from ‘proud’ parents and board members.

    The fact is the Lerner Jewish Community Day School was the one that initiated the litigation process, so don’t complain exposure.

    Opening doors of a school to the BDS/ JStreet/ Arab narrative is a sign of a real sickness within American Jewish community. Perhaps they should teach Haman’s perspective on the Jewish problem facing ancient Persia. Pesach is also coming up: how about we embrace those Jews who dobbed Moses into the Egyptian authorities, those responsible citizens who made a stand against a devisive right-wing leader. After all Moses actually took G-d and Bible very seriously, something you can’t say about Reconstructionist or even Conservative ministers of religion.

    Do you not realise that in just a generation your children will be ashamed to be connected to anything Jewish?! It is like developing cancerous cells that reject the body that produced them. I only hope that some of those Lerner kids end up coming across Chabad or similar.

    By the way the story made it already to the Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-World-Time-to-draw-lines-and-defend-them-446478

  • Jonathan Goldstein

    I applaud the Rachmuths in their decision to home school their children. After sending 4 children each through 12 years of yeshiva education, I don’t understand why there is so little home schooling of Jewish children. While I feel that there may be some Jewish High Schools able to inspire and educate children on a higher level, the funding and political nature of the elementary day school/yeshiva movement in this country is a major impediment to true outstanding education at the lower grades. Our children would be much better served if individuals with like ideas joined together to share the burdens of home schooling.

  • S. Rachmuth

    We would like to remind our critics that, because we have been sued by this school, we are required to defend ourselves. So, we are required to file certain documents like our sworn affidavits along with direct evidence which now are public record.

    If we had not been sued by the school, there would likely be no public discussion of anything reported here in this story or any of the others published.

    • The choice to continue this litigation has been yours, not the school’s. In its response to this situation you have created, the school states:

      “Since this unfortunate situation began in 2014, the Lerner School, through our counsel, has repeatedly requested a meeting with the Rachmuths to reach a fair and mutually agreeable solution and avoid continued litigation. When the Rachmuths chose to appeal the arbitrator’s decision in favor of Lerner, we continued to reach out – and have been doing so over the past several months – to pursue a settlement and avoid further litigation.
      For reasons we do not understand, the Rachmuths have refused all offers to meet with the school outside of a courtroom. The case currently is scheduled to be heard in May.”

      • SGold

        Adam, what do YOU think about allowing BDS activists into that school? Can you speak about the other parents who have left since 2013 and the other legal procedures this school has been involved with? Have there been other accusations of anti-Israel bias against families within the school from 2012-2014??

        Will you tell this board about the gag order it has asked parents to sign this year, which prevents them from speaking about the school?

        Are there people who loan money to the Federation for operations who also have family members involved directly with this scandal? Are there people involved who sit on boards at Federation, school, and conservative shul and who financially support all organizations?

        These are all questions to be answered so that a fuller, more accurate picture of the situation may be considered. Since you so passionately defend the school, you sound like the guy to answer these questions.

        • CGreen

          My kids have all gone there for years. There are No BDS activists there. That is all made up by the Rachmuths to get out of paying their tuition. They agreed to a contract and reneged, then they agreed to arbitration, lost the arbitration and still refused to pay what they contractually owed.
          They didn’t like the fact that the school started to permit some non-Jewish children into the Preschool. The elementary school remains Jewish-only, but the preschool changed its policy to permit children who respected Jewish values but were not born Jewish. The Rachmuths apparently didn’t want their children to go to school with any non-Jews so they made up this BDS story and have been attacking the school ever since.

          Lerner school is a wonderful, loving place. We have been there for years and have never seen anything even slightly anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish. These are all lies. My kids have been asking to visit Israel for years because of everything wonderful they learn from the school. A large number of kids at the school are Israeli. And the rabbis in town send their kids to Lerner.

          And there is no gag order. I have been a parent there for years and no one has ever asked me to sign any sort of gag order.

          Please don’t judge a school or a community if you don’t know us.

  • I am a conservative Jew, hazzan and proud father of three children that attend the Lerner Jewish Day School. My kids learn about Israel all the time and have never been exposed to anything negative. This smear campaign against our school began with the front page article that was clearly a regurgitation of half-truths and innuendo coming from a family engaged in a legal battle that initially had absolutely nothing to do with allegations of “anti-Israel”.

    The Lerner Jewish Day School is a treasure to all the Jewish community in the triangle area of NC. I trust 100% that my children are learning a love of Israel and their Jewish identity.

    Jonathan Lovins, MD

    • K. Rhein

      If none of these many reports are true, then why are they being printed? Surely you are aware of the legal recourse than organizations may take to rectify faulty reporting. But it doesn’t look like Lerner’s done this. Why if it’s not true?

      Many posters on this board have eluded to “half-truths,” and yet no one has denied that there were BDS elements within this school, parents wanted out, and now the school is in pursuit – some say unfairly.

      Apparently there are “pro-Israel” parents, who are mostly board members, at this school who do not mind their child being left unattended with BDS activists. They do not read about the antisemitism and intimidation being perpetuated on college campuses by these BDS groups. This said, it looks strange that these board members try to kill the messenger instead of fixing the school and protecting the children.

    • Naftali

      Who was it that gave your children a “love for Israel”? The Pro-BDS teacher or the anti-Israel Director of Development?

  • m. louis offen

    It’s impressive that so many have testified enthusiastically and all in like manner to Lerner’s virtues. It is also impressive that NONE of them have addressed themselves to the parents’ contentions that are the basis of their counter-suit against Lerner.

    When the Rachmuths complained about an absence or dearth of maps of Israel, did the head of school tell them something like, “Maps of Israel hurt some people’s feelings.”?

    Did the president of the school’s board president argue in an internal memo that a staff member displaying a sign supporting BDS, while “disturbing” to “some,” does not run counter to the Lerner School’s mission or core values?

    Has the school’s director of development publicly expressed her support for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, a group committed to BDS and unwilling to condemn terrorist attacks on Jews, saying it isn’t their place to tell Palestinians how to go about their fight against Israel?

    Was there until recently a staff member active in street protests sponsored by Jewish Voices for Peace, a group labeled antisemitic by the ADL calling upon the US to cut off all aid to Israel?

    Has the spouse of a former board member been an ardent enemy of Israel, promoting academic boycotts of the Jewish State and writing multiple journal articles challenging Israel’s very right to exist?

    Or, are the Rachmuths “liars” as some of those loudly denouncing them claim?

    The Federation president has advised that the school’s case against the parents is solid, a virtual can’t-lose. What will he say if the school is not 100% victorious? And does Federation have no problem with BDS advocates being part of Lerner’s staff?

    • The Rachmuths are NOT liars and are very strong Israel supporters; but sadly they and others are keen to destroy a jewel in our community, a reaction to the school by many of us who are very strong Pro-Israel supporters….and I don’t mean in any sort of pretend J Street fashion. And that is source of our comments….the school is very good and we need it…full stop!!!

  • Dan Friedman

    All I can conclude from the testimonials for the school, is that too many Jewish parents are in favor of BDS and other anti-zionist practices.

    • Nothing could be further from the truth. No parents have replied to the BDS allegation because no one was aware of it until the Rachmuths began their concerted effort to slander the school in order to wriggle out of their contractual obligations. Indeed, the educators in question left their politics outside the classroom and supported the school’s mission and vision. As the school states in their response to these unethical attacks:

      “Students will understand the religious and spiritual significance of Israel for the Jewish people, and will have opportunities to develop a personal connection to the historic and modern Land of Israel”

  • Michelle Shrott

    One of the best decisions we made as a family was to send our two sons to the Lerner School. The Lerner School is more than just an educational institution, it is a community of children and parents who have created an environment where there is a love of learning, a sense of pride in being Jewish, and a close relationship with the State of Israel. We found that the teachers and staff are not only committed to the highest standards of education but also to the emotional health and happiness of each student. All this while the school instills a strong sense of Jewish identity and an appreciation of how Israel is the home of the Jewish people. The importance of Israel in the school community is illustrated by our family trip to Israel in the summer of 2006. We had planned this trip, which included another Lerner School family, for months in advance. Just before we were to leave, however, Israel was attacked by Hezbollah and war broke out. Naturally, we were concerned some were suggesting alternative destinations for our vacation. Our oldest Lerner School son, however, insisted we take the trip. I can still remember his words, “We have to go. This isn’t just a vacation, this is ISRAEL!” Of course we all went and had one of the most wonderful experiences of our lives. We’re proud to say that both our children have continued on the path of being lifelong learners and supporters of Israel. We are very thankful to the Lerner School for providing such a wonderful start during their formative years.

  • Michelle & Kevin Kahn

    As parents of three former Lerner School children and previous Lerner School Board members, we feel that Lerner promoted a deep respect and love for Israel in our children. Our ties with Lerner even fostered a Bar Mitzvah trip to Israel with two other Lerner families. While in Israel we even had the pleasure of visiting with former Lerner students and good friends that had returned to their homeland. Because of the Lerner administration and teachers, our children developed a strong connection to the Hebrew language, the Jewish culture, and Jewish values. We are proud to be a part of and support the Lerner School community.

  • Cipa Dichter

    My husband and I have two grandsons who attend the Lerner School. It was a happy day as grandparents when we first visited the Lerner School. Their ability to provide students with the perfect combination of the best of secular and Jewish eduction moves and delights us every year when we attended grandparents day. To see our grandsons totally at ease as prayers are being chanted or when Hebrew songs are performed, as well as seeing how developed they are emotionally and academically has made us proud to belong to the Lerner School family. Every teacher has been understanding and supportive.
    We hope these legal issue will be solved in the school’s favor so they can get back to doing what they do best.

  • Marc Joseph

    I find this sad, disturbing and frivolous. The students are the ones who will suffer because $ that should be used to help teach them will now be used to collect what is contractually owed and to defend the lawsuit. As a former board member and parent of two children who attended Lerner, I know dozens of former students. Each one left Lerner as bright young people eager to learn more. It is a shame when a few adults let their own interests get in the way of scores of kids who could benefit from the phenomenal education and experience from attending The Lerner School.

  • Gabriel Dichter

    As a longtime parent of two Lerner School students (one has been there for 8 years), I am dumbfounded that anyone can take these allegations against Lerner School seriously. In all the years my family has been a part of the Lerner School community we have only experienced a school that is wholly committed to its love of Israel and its mission to instill strong Jewish identity and values in our children. In addition to excellent general academics, our children participate in daily Hebrew instruction, Judaic Studies, and Tefillah. To suggest that anti-Israel propaganda is part of the Lerner School experience is simply ridiculous and uninformed. Over the years Lerner School faculty and personnel have been completely dedicated to helping our children become proud, active, compassionate, and charitable members of our local and global Jewish community. We are delighted that such as school exists in our community.

  • Marlo Wilcox

    I have had kids enrolled at Lerner for the past 10 years. I am currently a Vice President on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, and have been in this role for the past 4 years. The comments being made by this disgruntled family reflect a school environment and demographic that is the antithesis to the Durham based Lerner School that my family has been involved with for many years. Were it not for the fact that the school and its location are being named, I would have never recognized the school in question as the one my kids attend.

    It is surprising to me that the Rachmuth’s are attempting to work through their dispute with Lerner in such a public, attention-seeking and factually questionable manner. The reasons the Rachmuth’s gave Lerner when they withdrew their children from the school was based on the school’s decision to open pre-school admissions to non-Jewish families. I don’t see this fact anywhere is the rhetoric the Rachmuth’s are posting. What is even more surprising, though, actually frightening, is the extent to which people from all over the world read something on the Internet and draw such condemning conclusions without knowing the Rachmuths, anything about Lerner, any facts about the situation and any of the people involved. This entire unfortunate situation is the perfect example of the need to follow the warning that ‘not everything you read on the internet is true’. It’s quite the opposite.

    • Marc Joseph

      Very well said Marlo. I find this sad, disturbing and frivolous. The students are the ones who will suffer because $ that should be used to help teach them will now be used to collect what is contractually owed and to defend the lawsuit. As a former board member and parent of two children who attended Lerner, I know dozens of former students. Each one left Lerner as bright young people eager to learn more. It is a shame when a few adults let their own interests get in the way of scores of kids who could benefit from the phenomenal education and experience from attending The Lerner School.

    • Naftali

      Was there or was there not a ProBDS teacher there? Was the Director of Development involved or not in an anti-Israel organization?

      • The BDS issue is a red herring and has nothing to do with the Rachmuth’s choice to leave the school. Even so, none of the parents I’ve spoken with had any idea about it because the teacher left her politics outside the classroom and it never affected her ability to teach and uphold the values of the school. In their response to this and other slanderous attacks by the Rachmuths, the school has said the following. I know this to be true as a Lerner parent of three years.

        “The Lerner School’s curriculum on Israel, which is consistent with how other North American Jewish day schools teach about Israel, is designed to achieve two objectives: (1) Students will be familiar with the history, geography, and cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of the modern State of Israel; and (2) Students will understand the religious and spiritual significance of Israel for the Jewish people, and will have opportunities to develop a personal connection to the historic and modern Land of Israel. When the Lerner School expanded its use of the Tal Am curriculum in the summer of 2014, it also adopted Tal Am’s Israel resource materials so that students may continue to learn about Israel in a Hebrew-immersive environment.”

  • David Morris

    I have had 2 children who started at Lerner in PreSchool and attended through 5th Grade graduation. My oldest daughter went to the American Hebrew Academy and has been dating an Israeli for the past year and a half and is talking about moving to Israel. My younger daughter is active within the Jewish community, a member of the American Hebrew Academy Honor Society, and excited to return to Israel for next year’s Maccabi Games. I would love to say that I am solely responsible for their pride in Judaism and Israel, but it Takes a community and education which we had at the Lerner School.

    I am proud of The Lerner School. I support the Lerner School. I consider both of my children examples (and not exceptions) of what a Lerner education can do. We no longer live in the Durham/Chapel Hill area and have been exposed to many different approaches to a Jewish education and Lerner remains a model for elementary education.

  • Karen Factor

    I am a former parent of two children who attended the Lerner School. I was on the Board and one of the founding parents of the preschool. My kids received a good Jewish Education and learned Hebrew, Jewish History, the Holidays, Tefillah and have a strong sense of Jewish Identity. They visited Israel after my son’s Bar Mitzvah and have a strong bond with Israel. They were involved in USY. and they are both active in their Hillels in their universities Learning Hebrew and about the state of Israel was very important in their Jewish Education.

  • Julie Harris

    I am a proud parent of two Lerner graduates, a former Past President of Lerner and a former Teacher at the Lerner School. The Lerner School is an exemplary pluralistic Jewish day school.
    My children learned to love Israel, Judaism, and the Hebrew language in such a profound way at Lerner. I have been a Jewish Educator for over 25 years and have worked in other day schools. I’ve seen a lot of very fine schools, To me, nothing compares to a Lerner School education. The Lerner School is a hamish school where children are loved and nurtured. Children are proud to be Jewish, love Hebrew and learning about Israel. Children learn to be problem solvers and compassionate community members.I am so proud to be part of the Lerner School community. I recently met a former Lerner student, she is currently President of Hillel at her university. While creating a map of her relationship to Israel, she told me she first began to love Israel because of Lerner. The best decision we could have made for our children was to give them a Lerner School education- a love of learning, Judaism, Hebrew and community.

  • Josh Rose

    I’m a proud parent of three graduates of the Lerner School and am also the Co-President of the Jewish Federation of Durham Chapel. I grew up in Israel, serviced in the Israeli army and am a strong supporter of the Jewish state. The Lerner School, short and simple, is a vital part our community and contributes immensely to making our community a great place to be Jewish. My oldest son is in college now and thinking of spending a semester in Israel. His love of Israel largely came from the wonderful education he received at Lerner. And there are many others just like him in our community. A younger generation who shares a common love of Israel and of being Jewish, inspired by their Lerner education. The school makes us proud of who we are and proud to stand behind Israel. I’m delighted to see so many positive comments from our local community members. Oddly, the few negative posts here are from people that never spent time in our community or at Lerner. That’s a real shame. I hope the sharing of our experiences and our love of Lerner will help provide a more objective perspective.

  • Betsy Polk Joseph

    What’s most striking about these comments is that the harshest judges of the Lerner School are those who don’t know the Lerner School. I, like others here, know Lerner as a parent and community member. There’s no doubt that it is a school with high integrity that not only teaches Jewish values but compassionately lives and models them.

  • Leah Lax

    Maybe it’s time to remove our children from the Federation grip and go open our own Jewish Schools with no non Jews .

  • Rabbi Daniel Greyber

    February 11, 2016

    As a local Conservative rabbi and as a parent, I want to add my voice of support for the Lerner Day School as a place where we feel lucky and proud to have sent our children for their Jewish education. My wife and I arrived in Durham in July, 2011 shortly after spending the 2010-11 academic year at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem, an internationally known think tank on Jewish education. After spending the year in Israel, our family was grateful to find a home at Lerner where our children could celebrate their experiences of living in Israel and continue to deepen their connection with Israel as part of the Lerner curriculum and community.

    As a local rabbi, I remember how I was invited to visit with a Lerner class in the school Sukkah during Sukkot in 2011. On the day of my visit, I woke up to the news that Gilad Shalit had been released after a brutal five year imprisonment by Hamas. In light of the news, I found my copy of Gilad Shalit’s children’s book, “When the Shark and the Fish First Met,” and read it to the class as a way of sharing the news of Shalit’s release, celebrating, and helping the kids to understand Shalit’s release not just as a news headline but as a family member coming home.

    A few years ago, our synagogue celebrated the 18th anniversary of Lerner with a “Lerner Shabbat.” That morning, students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni of Lerner read Torah and haftarah and led every aspect of our services including the Prayer for our Country, the Prayer for Israel (recited in Hebrew) and the Prayer for Peace. On the High Holidays since, I have spoken about how Lerner Day School is a critical institution for Jewish education and continuity in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area. The Lerner school is a place where, when I walk in the door, I speak Hebrew not only with the Israeli at the front desk but with Israeli parents and children who are part of the school community. I have sung HaTikvah together with the students and faculty, trusted Lerner with the education of my own children, and continue to support its continued vitality and success.

    B’virkat Shalom (with blessings of peace),

    Rabbi Daniel Greyber
    הרב דניאל גרייבר

  • Dawne Lucas

    I am a parent of a Lerner student, and my family has been extremely happy with the the education and sense of Jewish identity that my daughter has gained in her 2+ years as a member of the Lerner community. My daughter is proud to be Jewish, and is excited about visiting Israel in the future. This morning when I woke my daughter up to go to school, she cheerfully sang Modeh Ani before getting out of bed, because it was something she learned to do at school.

    My family is grateful for the warmth and closeness of the Lerner community. It is wonderful to see so many Jewish families, regardless of how they choose to observe Judaism, come together at this wonderful school.

  • Sharon Belenzon

    As an officer in the Israeli Army who loves Israel very much, I have been sending my two kids to the Lerner School since moving to Durham more than 5 years ago. The Lerner school made us feel at home far home. The Lerner school has shown great support to Israel, especially in its difficult times. My kids adore Israel, to a large extent due to what they learn and hear about our country each day at school.

    It is a shame that a legal disagreement between two parents and the school turned into a political fight. Piggybacking on anti-Israeli sentiments to win a lawsuit and to put pressure on the school and on our warm Israeli-loving community is disgraceful.

  • sheila goldstein

    We are grandparents of two children who have been at Lerner since preschool and have been impressed with their knowledge and love for Israel. They know many Israeli songs in addition to Hatikvah and love the country and its culture. Their Hebrew language classes are inbued with Israeli culture as are so many projects throughout the year. As for maps, Allison has created a wonderful interactive map library with numerous wonderful maps. We brought several of them back from our last trip to Israel. I am a volunteer twice a wek in my grandchildrens classes and have never heard anything negative about Israel and instead much positive fedback. This school only goes through 5th grade, too early for nuanced political discussions.
    We ate committed Conservative Jews and our grandchildren have been well served by this wonderful, supportive, pro Israel school.

  • Hollis Gauss

    I am the president of Lerner’s Board of Trustees, and my son, a kindergartener, has been at the school since he was three. My husband and I have made our careers working in and for the Jewish community, and we have been thrilled with the Jewish and secular education our son has received thus far at Lerner.
    The Lerner School enjoys the unwavering support of not only the parents of its current and former students, but every rabbi in the Triangle, local and national supporters and members of the Triangle’s Israeli and Jewish communities. At no time in our history – including over the the past two years – has any parent, board member, rabbi, local leader in the Jewish community or any individual questioned our commitment to Israel and Judaism before, except for the two individuals with whom we currently are involved in a contract dispute.
    The Lerner School, as demonstrated on its website, has always confirmed the School’s unwavering commitment to and support for a strong and secure Israel. Our mission is to inculcate among our students a connection with and love for the State of Israel. Contrary to what has been alleged, maps of Israel and the Israeli flag along with a host of other Jewish symbols are proudly displayed at Lerner. 
    All staff, regardless of their ethnic, religious and political backgrounds and affiliations, are required to support the mission and core values of the school, and are evaluated on this, among other things, throughout the school year. No individual associated with the school has ever used or would be allowed to use their position as a platform for their personal political beliefs. If any staff, faculty or Board member were to utilize the school in that way, the school would take all necessary steps to address that situation, including dismissal if warranted. 
    Lerner is and always has been a fierce supporter of Israel, Judaism and the Jewish people. Because its students are too young to learn about the complexities and nuances of the political situation in the Middle East during their time with us, the curriculum does not address such issues. However, the curriculum and programming are and always have been focused on teaching a love of and connection to Israel: its land, its people, its culture, its history and its language. We teach students to respect differences and to recognize and celebrate the commonalties, shared experiences, and richness of varied Jewish traditions.
    Lerner is a small non-profit school, and tuition is the primary source of revenue used to pay teacher salaries and other school expenses. Families that break their contract after the final withdrawal date threaten Lerner’s financial position and the school’s stability. All parents sign the contract before enrolling in the school. By signing it, parents become our partners in providing Jewish education to Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and Cary children, and ensuring the school’s financial viability. It would not be fair to all of the parents who honor their signed tuition agreements to allow some families out of their contracts because they have changed their minds.
    The assertions about the school being anti-Semitic or anti-Israel, in addition to being patently untrue and extremely dangerous to our local Jewish community, come as a surprise to us at Lerner, as these were not the reasons presented by the family at the time of withdrawal or at arbitration in Durham County Court. On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the School, I urge those who question the integrity of the school or our commitment to Eretz Yisrael to learn the facts before drawing any conclusions.

  • Tara

    Homeschooling is an option that my family chose for several years. Just as you would not put a small plant out in a hurricane – as parents it’s our biggest obligation to protect our children. As the Torah says: “teach your children diligently”(Deut. 6) – It doesn’t say send them to a BDS school and have some stranger teach them or give them a lot of material things – it says “teach your children…”

  • Perri Shalom-Liberty

    I am the chair of the Israel Center, the founder of the Voice for Israel and an Israeli. I have had 4 children at the school for the past 8 years. I volunteer at the school all the time. I invest my money, time and energy in the school because it prepares my children to be strong advocates for Judaism and Israel. My children don’t have the privilege to go to a Jewish Middle or High School. At the age of 12 they must carry their identity into an environment in which they are one of only a handful of Jews. The school has taught my children to be proud of who they are. My daughter who is now in 7th grade public school shares her faith and her identity without fear and with honor. She has helped another girl who did not attend Lerner be comfortable in sharing that she too is a Jew and that she has found the courage to be different. Lerner has done everything that I expected my investment to do. The school gave me a strong, pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, straight A student for a daughter. Our community has a pro-Jewish, pro-Israel future leader. The investment in Jewish day schools is the best way to invest in the future of Israel and the Jewish people. If you would like to help the school bring more of these future leaders to the world, please do so. Reach out to the school and see how you might be able to help. We as a community need it, we as a community must stick together and not let anyone tear us apart.

  • DR

    While I sympathize with the Rachmuth family, and fully support their stance, what should they expect? They live in the galut, in a part of the US with a small Jewish community, and send their kids to a non-Orthodox school.

    It’s time to come home!

  • rabbi k

    The facts of the story are known only to the participants. It is a case of “they said,” “they said.” But there is a fact: the school chose to sue a family that decided to withdraw their children in the following year. They might have the right to do so as a business, but that shows they don’t have a Jewish heart and that they deserve the PR nightmare they got into, and hopefully they don’t get that money either. When the issue of suing people for non-payment of dues or pledges comes up at congregations I always say: we are in the business of bringing people to Judaism and Torah, not in the business of suing people.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      The problem with your statement is that in our area we have a very small Jewish community, we don’t have the deep pockets of other areas. Your assumption is that the school has the extra funds to accommodate the loss of income. The school paid for supplies, insurance, the teachers contracts in preparation for the children to attend. You could argue that these expenses do not equate to the subsidized tuition of two students but at some point where do you draw the line. The parents were given 3 opportunities to cancel without penalty and they chose not to. The school is a business that benefits the Jewish community, without this school the Jewish community would not be as strong. This is the only Jewish school in the Triangle. The orthodox school that Chabad had in Raleigh went out of business a few years ago. The Chabad Rabbi’s daughter went to the Lerner school because the Lerner School was the only one to survive. These parent’s are trying to destroy the school. The school must stay fiscally responsible for the betterment of the rest of the community.

    • A small non-profit school with a very tight budget that includes setting aside money for the needy and for scholarship is obliged to make clear the whimsical, and these were very whimsical excuses for breaking a proper contract, reasons for breaking a contract must not be allowed as that would set a precedent grossly unfair to those relying on a healthy school and complete staff. There is no justice in forcing the community to sacrifice.

  • Sweiss

    My daughter went to Lerner from pre-K through 5th. She finished in 2013. I support the school and I am proud of the sense of community, Jewish values, Jewish identity that she developed during her time at Lerner. I believe that it gave her a strong foundation.

    Having said that, I believe there is no way that the values of an individual family can completely reconciled or in complete alignment with any given private school. And in those cases, it is up to a family to identify how those gaps will be addressed with the school and privately.

    For example, as the child of two Holocaust survivors, one of whom was in Auschwitz, the other a partisan, I did not agree with the school’s response when my daughter decided to do a family biography about my father in the third grade – the biography was pretty straightforward about his experience without being graphic. The Judaic studies teacher and other parents objected to having the biography submitted, and asked for a redo. This was because there was a concern that both the teacher and other families had about introducing this content to their children at this age. The school heard my feedback, responded, we identified a mutual agreement, and my daughter proceeded with her project. At that point, however, I knew there would always be gap in the school’s approach and mine.

    As a parent, it is my responsibility to identify how to address that gap, and then communicate and educate my daughter in this area – and we proceeded with studying Holocaust content, at my daughter’s pace…at home.

    No school can completely align with individual values. It is the responsibility of both the school and its families to handle those gaps in respectful ways. This is a small, yet diverse community. Having a Jewish Day School at all here is a great asset and we need to find a way to preserve it rather than destroy it through litigation, petitions, and acrimonious disputes. This is not about whether Lerner is pro-or-anti-Israel. This is about how we handle disagreements in belief and approach.

  • Pam Barth

    The 2015-2016 year is our child’s 3rd year at Lerner. During this time, Lerner has had and continues to have a positive Jewish impact on our whole family. Our child always identifies positively with Israel, and at no time have we heard any explicit or implicit condemnation of Israel from our child or from faculty or staff. We strongly support Lerner and the Jewish values – including support of Israel – that Lerner imparts. For privacy reasons, I know little of the contractual dispute discussed in this article. From my personal knowledge of Lerner and that gained from conversations with faculty, staff, and other parents (current and former), the family’s allegations of anti-Israeli sentiment at the school are at best spurious.

  • If Israel and the Jewish people can be easily defeated in a classroom where one person may hold a slightly different view, we are in deep trouble as a nation and as a people. There are many Jews who may be more critical than I am on Israel for a number of reasons, most of which I may vehemently disagree with, but I am not ready to chase them out of my religion on a witch hunt.

    Instead, I try to create a teachable moment and try to get these progressive Jews who fight for non-Jewish causes to stop ignoring the anti-Jewish oppression of their progressive peers. After centuries of waiting in vain for others to come to our defense, have we internalized the idea that there’s no hope of getting other people to stand with us unless we fight for another? The best placed people to stop anti-Jewish and anti-Israel rhetoric from the left, is the Jewish left. Why not enlist them to help, rather than chase them away?

  • TML

    I have spent almost my entire life living in the Durham/Chapel Hill area. As the daughter of Israelis living in a small Jewish community with no Jewish Day School, my parents relied on Jewish summer camps and synagogue to bolster my Jewish identity and connection to Israel. When it was time to enroll my eldest daughter in kindergarten, I was THRILLED to discover the Lerner School. From the moment my husband and walked through the door, we could see and feel that Israel, Torah, and derech eretz are vital part of the education of Lerner students. As a parent of two Lerner School graduates, I can confidently say that Lerner students learn and use Hebrew daily, proudly sing Hatikvah, learn about the history, geography, cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity Israel, and develop a personal connection to Israel. I love that when my daughters moved on to public middle and high school, that their strong Jewish identities and deep connections to Israel are evident in their school assignments, friendships, and choices about how to spend their free time. Both my daughters actively seek ways to continue to engage with the local Jewish community and see themselves as future leaders. I continue to be an active volunteer for the school, and can strongly state that the faculty, staff, and Board leadership support the school’s mission and core values, which have always included support for and love for Israel. Everyday I am thankful to the pioneering families who founded the Lerner School 20 years ago; the school is a vital and essential piece of the Durham/Chapel Hill Jewish community, striving everyday to educate children to be strong in their Jewish identify and in their love for Israel.

  • Ari Medoff

    My son has been at the Lerner School for three years. It has provided him with a wonderful Jewish education. As he is in pre-school, this has been primarily focused on Jewish values, holidays, and rituals.

    I would urge those with hateful comments, who have no knowledge of Lerner besides the negative, baseless views as presented by the disgruntled family in the article, to take to heart the views of the overwhelming majority of the Jewish community in Durham & Chapel Hill. We support this thriving school with our tuition dollars, donations, and volunteer efforts. The administration and faculty are remarkable for their dedication to our children.

    • Geoffrey Isaac Collins MD

      In my opinion, the Community and all Klall
      Yisrael should be proud of such an asset as this
      School- and it’s devoted Staff.

  • Stanley Robboy

    My wife and I have been part of the Durham – Chapel Hill community for about 25 years. We have taken leadership positions in many of the Jewish and non-Jewish organization in the area and are well known for supporting pro Jewish and strong Israeli positions. I am currently the co-president of the Kehillah synagogue in Chapel Hill. Despite all of our children being grown when we moved to this region, we have been strong supporters, financial and moral, of the Lerner School since it’s founding. Many of our friends’ children, both Israeli and from the US, have attended the School and have loved the education given and moral climate present. The school is a terrific community asset.

  • Jill Madsen, EdD

    As the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Durham Chapel Hill I must share on a daily basis I get the wonderful opportunity to share a campus with the Lerner School and observe the incredible Jewish education they offer the children and families they serve. The Lerner School is a valuable community treasure teaching Jewish values and a love for Israel. This can be seen as you walk through their building, observe students learning, and have the opportunity to hear the amazing way the children speak about Judaism and Israel.

  • Geoffrey Isaac Collins MD

    First… What are the facts?
    It’s too easy to copy allegations from one posting to another.

    2) I believe that this school is a very positive, well run, audited, well governed, Jewish Day School.

    And I have this on very good authority.

    3) It may be possible that spurious accusations by the parents, are to be used in court in order to
    wriggle out of their obligations,

    4) can we hear from other parents please ?

    • Kelly Asher

      As a result of this family’s complaint, it seems the newly forming opinion of Lerner is based solely on Lerner’s views of, and attitudes toward, Israel. The truth is, Lerner is a Jewish Day School. Where it does involve Israel in its education, it’s a shame that what’s missed in this situation is the fact that Jewish culture and education are the cornerstones of the school. Which is to say, teaching and learning about Israel are only part of the package.

      We have two children currently enrolled in Lerner, plus two children who were previously enrolled in Lerner. We are pleased with the education Lerner provides, with the warmth and attitude of the staff/administration, and the sense of community Lerner encourages. Our children have all thrived in the Lerner environment, both from an academic and Judaic standpoint. But, to address the family’s complaint, if you think Lerner is anti-Israel, let me point out a few things that come to mind…

      I have pictures of all four of my children taking a “flight” to Israel in preschool, complete with passports, Israeli flags, and a “flight attendant” (teacher) handout out juice from the juice cart in the aisle of the “plane”.

      Annually, on Yom Hazikaron, names of deceased soldiers are read aloud for hours at the school

      http://www.lernerschool.org has a main page photo of a Shabbat sing-along, with about 36 Israeli flags hanging in the background.

      The aforementioned Lerner website is accessible; in the upper right corner is a link “Learn the Facts” about the school, as well as the facts surrounding this arbitration. I invite you learn facts before supporting either side. The article above is the family’s side of the story (note that the initial lawsuit from the family revolves around Lerner’s acceptance of non Jewish families into the preschool program; it was not stance against Lerner’s “anti-Israeli” views). As others have mentioned, there is a huge community supporting Lerner, and only a few complaints. Ask yourself, how could that possibly be?

  • YESHAYAHU HOLLANDER

    The legal battle is beyond my knowledge, so I cannot form an opinion, but since the scholl represented itself as pro-Israel and refused to support Israel during the war in Gaza and say that the Israeli flag hurts people’s feelings – then without doubt Guy and Sloan Rachmuth are entirely morally justified in pulling their children out of the school and suing it.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      What is amazing to me is that you believe the Rachmuths. Why do they deserve to be trusted? Where were they when we organized our pro-Israel rallies. Where were they when we protested the protesters of an Israeli Dance Festival. Lerner is the most pro-Israel institution in the Triangle. Visit on Yom Haatzmaut and hear the children sing the Hatikvah. Or on Yom Hazikaron and listening to the children read off the names of the soldiers who died defending the Jewish State. The Rachmuths chose to leave and its not because of the school’s Israel policy. (BTW the war was in July, school was not in session)

  • This story is a balance of the two narratives in our community. However, I want to emphasize that the family in question and their friends are a very small minority, albeit very effective at seeking media attention; and that every synagogue, our Federation, plus the Voice for Israel and the Israel Center are all extremely proud of Lerner school and the results we see in the minds and hearts of the children. I am known in the Community as a very strong pro-Israel person, active nationally with AIPAC (the National Council), with the The Israel Project (TIP) and the founder of our Israel Center, which is a cultural voice for Israel; and co-director of the Voice for Israel which is the political wing of our local efforts. Lerner School is a valuable community treasure whose accomplishments deserve our support.

    • Bonnie Prince Charlie

      So you have no problem with the school not displaying the Israeli flag or a map of Israel, and supporting Israel in Operation Protective Edge? You’re quite happy that the head of development and another teacher are pro-BDS? To which chaoter of J-Street do you belong?

      • I would have a very substantial problem, if the story were true. Have you visited as often as I have?

      • Gabriel Liberty

        The problem is you should not take the opinion of someone who is in a dispute with the other party. If the parents removed their children prior to the 3 deadlines they missed they would be considered impartial. The fact is they are not impartial and they are simply attacking the school in hopes that the school will allow them out of the contract they signed. None of the teachers or administrators are pro-BDS and I wish I could send you pictures of the maps on the wall. All of this is lies spread for one purpose which is to defame the school.

        • SGold

          Funny how this couple, the Libertys, are outraged about the “breaking of a contract” when they themselves have recently filed for bankruptcy. Is this not the breaking of MULTIPLE contracts they have signed and committed to pay? It’s like pot calling kettle black here.

      • Kelly Asher

        Who said the school does not display the Israeli flag? Go to http://www.lernerschool.org; there are about 36 in a picture on the main page. As well, how do you make the leap from Mr. Gutman’s support of Lerner to “which chapter (sic) of J-street do you belong?” It seems there are steps missing.

  • Adam O Goldstein

    As a former parent of three Lerner School children, a Past President of The Lerner School,a founding parent of the school, and a strong aipac supporter, I have proudly witnessed the education of several generation of elementary school Jewish children, many of whom will and are becoming Jewish leaders in their communities. My own children know Hebrew, Israeli songs, Tefillah, HaTikvah, Jewish history and holidays, because they learned these things as young children at The Lerner School, a school that sustained, supported and helped us grow Jewish values in our home. My children are proud of their Jewish education, proud of their faith and developed strong bonds with Israel because of the consistent support and love of Lerner School teachers. Demanding that the school become a political entity, or that teachers at the school mimic my views, is ridiculous and dangerous. Jewish identity and a love of Israel have always been and remain at the core of Lerner’s program.

    • Geoffrey Isaac Collins MD

      Glad to hear this!

    • SGold

      Mr Goldstien,

      Back in 2013, you published a letter of protest in response to anti-Israel ads running on Chapel Hill busses (thank you). You said THIS of these BDS ads:

      “They are offensive to many, the equivalent of calling to an end to the State of Israel- and they leave me, as a Jew, a Chapel Hill resident, and a parent with a teenage daughter, feeling attacked in a place I want to feel at home.”

      But now you are defending this school who hired 2 activists involved in placing those very ads! One of them was the Rachmuth’s child’s Hebrew teacher, and yet you attack this Israeli-American family (ISRAELI) for leaving! How can this be? You believe you have a right to protect your family because of the anti-Israel “work” of these BDS activists in your community, but the Rachmuths do not have the same right in their own school??

      Is your opinion more valid because you are more wealthy than are the Rachmuths? Or because of your leadership roles with local Jewish communal institutions? Or because they’re Israeli and you’re American??

      Please explain your blatant hypocricy sir.

  • A.F.

    Maybe it’s time for the Rachmuth family to return itself here to Israel where they belong.

  • Pjkl

    Unreal. School is definitely wrong. Complaints about schools and the unresponsiveness from administrations unfold on a rolling basis, not by deadlines. Irrespective of the meat of the case, who would want to send to a school whose principal has such poor judgment as to press this case? Such poor role modeling likely setting a harsh tone in a school. Move to a vibrant Jewish community and you find some great, warm and flexible schools.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      Yes it is unreal. Because it is not real. They are spreading lies to defame the school. They want to get out of a contract they signed. They are not being honest about their motives. They are trying to destroy the heart of our Jewish community and those outside believe them blindly.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    It most certainly is NOT the only Jewish day school in a hundred miles. AHA in Greensboro is one and it’s about half that in distance.

    • Pam Barth

      Greensboro is 55-60 miles away via the highway. AHA serves 9-12 grades, although there is a K-8 Jewish day school in Greensboro.

  • DocReality

    This school is a DISGRACE.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      What is a disgrace is that people will take the word of two individuals over an entire Jewish community.

    • Josh Rose

      I’m a proud parent of three graduates of the Lerner School and am also the Co-President of the Jewish Federation of Durham Chapel. I grew up in Israel, serviced in the Israeli army and am a strong supporter of the Jewish state. The Lerner School, short and simple, is a vital part our community and contributes immensely to making our community a great place to be Jewish. My oldest son is in college now and thinking of spending a semester in Israel. His love of Israel largely came from the wonderful education he received at Lerner. And there are many others just like him in our community. A younger generation who shares a common love of Israel and of being Jewish, inspired by their Lerner education. The school makes us proud of who we are and proud to stand behind Israel. I’m delighted to see so many positive comments from our local community members. Oddly, the few negative posts here are from people that never spent time in our community or at Lerner. That’s a real shame. I hope the sharing of our experiences and our love of Lerner will help provide a more objective perspective.

  • Ephraim

    May Hashem grant the Rachmuths justice. Lerner is just another example of the seemingly endless parade of self hating Jews.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      Justice is that the Rachmuths pay a price for defaming the most pro-Israel institution in the Triangle. The hatred they must feel to try to destroy the heart of our community is what is wrong. I assure you as a pro-Israel activist and a father of four who has spent 8 years at the school they have one motivation and its not the Israeli policy of the school.

  • Richard Allen

    The Lerner School should be ashamed. The school clearly allowed BDS teachers and personnel to spread their anti-Israel propaganda at the school. Supporting Israel is a core value. This family stood up and fought back. Now the school looks to sue?, what chuzpa !

    Jewish Communal institutions should not support BDS in any form, that includes not allowing teachers and personnel to spread Israel hate within the school. The Israel flag and map are not divisive symbols, but a proud core value.

    This Rachmuth family are Jewish Heroes

    • Gabriel Liberty

      What makes them a hero? The fact that they can defame a school for a financial gain. They spread lies and the people outside of community are so quick to believe them. They are trying to gain sympathy while destroying the only Jewish school in the Triangle.

  • LFayman

    If nothing political was discussed at school, where did the 6 year old son learn that the Israeli flag hurts people’s feelings ?? It sounds like a case of PC taken to to the extreme, this is supposed to be a Jewish School. If some of the faculty was pro BDS, there is no way the students would get a positive view of Israel, BDS claims that Israel oppresses the Palestians, is an occupation force on Palestinian land. Shame on Lerner, and parents it’s sad to have to say this, but you need to be careful of the values your children are being taught, even in a so called Jewish school

    • Gabriel Liberty

      What is shameful is that people outside our community would believe two individuals and not our whole community. For Yom Haatzmaut the entire school is covered in flags, from the drive up to the walkway coming into the school. Every classroom has a flag. If the school really felt the flags caused peoples feelings to be hurt, they must really enjoy hurting the people’s feelings.

  • Madalene Kesner

    I think these people are being way too picky. They want perfection. They will never get it.
    Get used to it.

    • Bonnie Prince Charlie

      Madeleine, you set your standards so low if you can’t see the substance in the Rachmuths’ complaint. But maybe that’s all you want for your children.

      • Gabriel Liberty

        I’m shocked at how easily people believe two disgruntled parents. The Rachmuths’ complaint has no substance. It is based on lies and deception for only one purpose. To destroy the only Jewish school in the Triangle. The same Jewish school that is a beacon of light for Israel. A school that teaches to love, respect and to honor the Jewish state. A school who’s students are prepared to fight for the Jewish state’s right to exist. As a father of 4 Israeli/American children who will one day serve in the Israeli Army I am disgusted that these parents choose to defame a school that has been nothing but a great champion for Israel.

  • Naomi Weinberger

    Please tell the parents that I support them and their views and find their experiences at this school very troubling. I would also not want to send a child to such a school that does not cultivate an ahavat Yisrael in their children.

    I don’t know that I would have felt like i could affect the culture from within, either. So sorry for their plight.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      It would be troubling if they were true. “Ahavat Yisrael” is the base for the school. It is in the mission it is in the curriculum, it is in my children. The parents are not being honest of their motivation.

  • NuritG

    We, Jews, have enough enemies outside the Jewish community. We cannot allow them to infiltrate our community under the guise they teach our children Jewish values. These are not Jews, nor they teach the right values, they are infiltrators with evil intentions. They are unJews acting to subvert Israel and must be ex-communicated from the Jewish community!

    • the real disgrace is a groundless attack on fellow Jews

      • sGold

        Groundless attacks? Do you not believe there was BDS in the school? Is this a disgrace, or is exposing it a disgrace?

        3 of the “fellow Jews” you speak of here have all made public comments in favor of, not only their support for the BDS movement, but also for Hamas. They have condoned terror against Israeli citizens. have you read this? They have also themselves personally targeted Israelis for discrimination in the arts, in academia, commerce, and more. These 3 have written books and articles, and have given speeches demonizing Israel in their own community – the same one where this school is located. Is this a disgrace?

        These acts are all considered anti-Semitic by the State Department.

        You have written about JVP “Beware of Groups Who Demean Their Own People” so surely you realize what these groups promote.

    • Gabriel Liberty

      Yes we Jews do have too many enemies. The problem is that the enemy is not the school. The problem is the parents who are willing to destroy a school with lies. I’m a father of four children in the school. I have spent 8 years of my life. My wife is the chair of the Israel Center, she is a founder of the Voice for Israel. We have stood together with our children on street corners and in other areas supporting and advocating for the Jewish state. These parents are not activists, they do not volunteer. Do you think for one second that we would choose a school that does not honor Israel or stand up for its rights. The motive of the parents are wrong and they should be ashamed of trying to destroy the only Jewish school in the Triangle, the same school that gives my children pure unconditional love for the only Jewish state.

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