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November 20, 2014 / 27 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Penn State’

Brandeis, Penn State Quit ASA after Vote to Boycott Israel

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Brandeis University and Penn State Harrisburg on Wednesday announced they have withdrawn from the American Studies Association (ASA) following the ASA membership’s Dec. 15 vote to endorse a boycott of Israel.

“We view the recent vote by the membership to affirm an academic boycott of Israel as a politicization of the discipline and a rebuke to the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster,” the Brandeis American Studies Department said in a statement. “We remain committed to the discipline of American Studies but we can no longer support an organization that has rejected two of the core principles of American culture—freedom of association and expression.”

Dr. Simon Bronner, the head of the American Studies department at Penn State in Harrisburg, said in a statement, “In the wake of the passage of the resolution by the ASA to boycott Israeli institutions, which programs and departments such as Penn State Harrisburg’s program in American Studies consider to curtail academic freedom and undermine the reputation of American Studies as a scholarly enterprise, the chair of the American Studies program at Penn State Harrisburg plans to drop its institutional membership and will encourage others to do so.”

Jewish Frat House Vandals Identified

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Pennsylvania State College police have identified two men who allegedly painted anti-Semitic slogans and swastikas on and around a mostly Jewish fraternity on campus.

The two men are white and college-age, the police said, according to the Centre Daily Time, and they face charges of ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct

The slogans and swastikas were spray-painted on the Beta Sigma Beta fraternity building, on cars parked outside the fraternity and on a dumpster early on Nov. 8.

Security cameras captured images of the vandals, but the men have not yet been identified publicly or charged.

Who Has The Moral High Ground?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/07/the-moral-high-ground.html

Witnessing the fall from grace of Joe Paterno, the once iconic football coach of Penn State has been breathtaking. Not because I was any kind of college football fan. I’m not. But because he had a decades-long  status as a model for mentoring students as both football coach and life coach.  So iconic was he that he had a statue placed on the school campus to symbolize what Penn State was all about.

That statue has now been removed – right along with his reputation. The literally thousands of students who saw him as some kind if surrogate father figure that taught them valuable lessons about life are probably all dumbfounded. Except of course for those students of his that were sexually abused by his top coaching assistant, Jerry Sandusky, Who was convicted on multiple counts of sex abuse and faces spending the rest of his life in prison.

Paterno was not a sex offender himself. I would go so far as to say that his reputation for mentoring his students was well deserved in almost every respect if not for his part in the cover-up of the abuse. But that cover-up has destroyed any claim he might have had to being a moral authority. And it should remove any respect from him. How sad that a life time of good works can so easily be destroyed by some seriously bad judgement. Nonetheless his reputation deserves to be destroyed.

Which brings me to the parallel world of Jewish education. We too have our Joe Paternos. Only they are not football coaches. They are rabbis who have been just as guilty in cover-ups as Paterno was. In at least one case, a Rosh Yeshiva tolerated sex abuse by one of his Rebbeim for many years and did nothing about it. He knew it was going on and yet allowed that teacher to continue teaching and continue abusing his students. He is still around – as is his Yeshiva. His moral authority seems to not be questioned. I recently saw his name on a list of prominent Roshei Yeshiva promoting some event.

Is the Torah world on a lower level than Penn State? Do the non-Jewish officials at Penn State understand better the devastation caused by the cover-up of sex abuse than our own rabbinic leaders? It would seem so.

There was a time when sex abuse was not as understood as it is today.  There was a time where sex abuse was “swept under the rug”- thinking that the victim should just “get over it.”  But this is no longer the case.

With the exception of some hard core Chasidic enclaves, most of the Orthodox world understands that the sexual abuse of a child is tantamount to mental and spiritual murder! In some cases even actual murder when a victim ends up committing suicide because of it. How in good conscience can we permit a man who allowed this spiritual murder right under his nose continue to be given honor, let alone allow his Yeshiva to remain open under his leadership?

The Penn State situation has also taught us another lesson. One which explains why the Agudah Moetzes opposed the Markey Bill. That was a bill to allow a one time extension of the statute of limitations whereby a victim of abuse can sue an institution for covering up sex abuse and allowing it to continue. Victims could sue both their abusers and the institutions that employed them.

Penn State was hit with a whopping  60 million dollar fine (among other sanctions) by the NCAA! If the Jewish educational system was hit with these kinds of numbers in lawsuits by victims, it would destroy them.

So they are afraid…Very afraid! And are therefore vehemently opposed to the possibility of this kind of financial assault! Understandably so – especially considering the tuition crisis. If Yeshivos are running deficits in spite of record high tuitions, parents being squeezed for every dime and maximum fundraising – a financial blow like this could be beyond devastating to the entire Jewish community.

But that does not take away from the injustice to victims resulting from such opposition. Let me quickly add that there are States where a Markey type extension to the statute of limitations has not destroyed Jewish education at all. So fears about the destruction of Jewish education by passing that bill in New York may be a bit overblown. But understandable nonetheless.

It’s My Opinion: Protecting Our Children

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary recently testified in a court hearing against ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The testimony he gave before the jury was sickening on two counts: He described witnessing the alleged details of a sexual assault on a minor child and he admitted he was not vigilant in exposing what he saw. The incident, according to McQueary, took place over ten years ago.

Sandusky had been a greatly admired man. He headed a popular youth charity that funded camps and projects focused on at-risk kids. The coach was a stellar figure in the community.

Despite stunning testimony by McQueary and three alleged victims, Sandusky denies the charges. He is accused of abusing 10 minor children over a 15-year span. He is charged with 52 criminal counts involving these alleged assaults.

McQueary said he went to head football coach Joe Paterno the day after witnessing the incident and to Penn State officials a week later. He spoke of being vague and non-explicate when explaining the incident.

“Mind your own business” has become a catch phrase of contemporary culture. We all have our own troubles. We all have our own worries. We hesitate adding to them.

The Jewish nation has another take on the issue. The Torah admonishes that we cannot “stand idly by.”

Most educators and youth leaders are fine and dedicated individuals who care about the youngsters in their charge. The impact that they have on young lives can be incredibly positive.

A minority, unfortunately, gravitate to children for other reasons. Their impact is always devastating.

We are now in the more relaxed summer season. Children’s activities are less structured. Sleepovers, field trips and camp experiences are the standard. Parents, grandparents and administrators need to be especially vigilant.

Let your children know they can and should go to you with anything that makes them uncomfortable. Let your children know they can say “no” even to an authority figure. Keep the door of communication wide open.

Kosher Tidbits from around the Web – September 17, 2007

Monday, September 17th, 2007

For years eating kosher and eating gourmet did  not go hand in hand.  Nowadays however, you can find gourmet and exotic recipes totally in keeping with Jewish laws and traditions.  As a matter of fact today you can keep kosher and still eat like a billionaire.  In The Kosher Billionaire’s Secret Recipe, author Stacey Cohen treats us to presentations such as Eggplant Burger with Parmesan Cream Sauce, Halibut Livornese with Spinach Grocchini and Caramelized Apple with Cr?me Chantilly in Puff Pastry with Yogurt Sauce. 
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Kathi Kreider is enticing us to eat gourmet as well – but her speciality is desserts.  Parve desserts that is.  Kathi’s goal is to help those of us who keep kosher be able to enjoy a delectable dessert after a meat meal – even if it can’t be made with butters and creams.  Her answer – Parve Pleasures, located in her North Raleigh home and under the supervision of the local Chabad.
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Looking to enjoy a more simple meal?  Traveling to Niagra Falls over the next couple of weeks?  If the answer to both questions are yes, make sure to stop at King David Pizzeria and Bakery on Centre Street – the first kosher pizza shop in Niagra Falls.  But you need to travel fast as the restaurant will close for the season after Succoth.
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Hopefully coming soon to a supermarket freezer near you – Shannon Road Ice Cream - parve and sinfully rich they are in the process of acquring a reliable hechsher.
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And coming soon to Penn State - once a month kosher dinners in one of the campus dining halls.  For now, there are kosher groceries available in The Mix, a store in Pollock Commons.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/kosher-food-news/kosher-tidbits-from-around-the-web-september-17-2007/2007/09/17/

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