Monday, February 06, 2012

Jews Just Have No Guts!

Parents Keep Children Home From School in Sex-Abuse Case

Published: February 6, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Parents of students at an elementary school here where two teachers were arrested on accusations of child sexual abuse marched outside the school on Monday and refused to allow their children to attend classes, protesting what they said was the failure of school officials to act against the violation and explain the extent of the abuse.

Parents rallied outside Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles, where two teachers were accused of sexually abusing children.

Since the first arrest last week, tensions have escalated at Miramonte Elementary School, and assertions by the police and the Los Angeles Unified School District that the school had acted quickly and that the cases were not related have done little to calm nerves.

On Monday morning, about 60 parents from this primarily Latino, working-class South Los Angeles neighborhood staged a protest outside the school, and many kept their children out of school, driving attendance, which was more than 97 percent a week ago, down to 72 percent. In addition, the parents of three students filed a claim for monetary damages against the school district on Monday, alleging their children had been abused. Their lawyer said more claims would be brought later this week.

Like many parents, Josye Corona worried her son may have been among those abused.

“We are trying to give the principal a message that we want answers, because they’ve been giving us the runaround, and we’re tired of it,” Ms. Corona said. “One time, my son disappeared on campus for two hours, and they didn’t know where he was. They never gave me an answer. So what do I think now?”

The crisis began last week, when Mark Berndt, who had taught at Miramonte for three decades, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with 23 counts of committing lewd acts upon a child.

As the police investigated the case, accusations against another teacher at the school, Martin Springer, came to light, and he was also arrested on Friday, accused of groping two 7-year-olds. On Monday, a janitor at another elementary school in the district was also arrested, accused of molesting a student.

The school district has worked to try to quell parents’ fears. Officials would not comment on the abuse cases on Monday afternoon, but parents at Miramonte were invited to a meeting with the district’s superintendent, John Deasy, on Monday night, and classes at the school were canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday while investigations into the alleged abuse continue.

Some parents have already begun looking for new schools for their children. Others at Monday’s protest said the school should be shut down indefinitely, or the entire faculty fired.

“I want them to clean up the whole school,” said Nancy Linares, who kept her granddaughter out of school on Monday, and helped organize the protest. “Get rid of everyone from the janitor to the principal.”

Dr. Sharon Cooper, a forensic pediatrician and child abuse expert at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said this communal loss of trust is often the most lasting effect of multivictim child abuse cases.

“Instead of looking at an individual as an isolated offender, parents will sometimes look at the system as just not safe,” Dr. Cooper said. “That can cause them to turn away from important services like education.”



National / World News 11:06 p.m. Monday, February 6, 2012

Official: Entire Faculty to be removed at LA school

LOS ANGELES — The entire faculty at Miramonte Elementary School will be removed following allegations of child sex abuse against two teachers, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said Monday night at a meeting with parents.....


Why Jews Should Consider Vegetarianism!

 A Healthy Dose of Rational Food for Thought:

Excerpted from sources below.

Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, the founding dean of New York's Mesifta Torah VoDaath, became a vegetarian after the Holocaust/Shoah, simply yet powerfully declaring, "There has been enough killing in the world."

Isaac Bashevis Singer powerfully declares, "In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka." The livestock industry is a chronic and widespread form of enslavement and torture, while vegetarianism is a powerful way of actively yet nonviolently opposing the daily and brutal outrage of meat production and consumption.

Health and the protection of life are repeatedly emphasized, and even prioritized, in Jewish teachings. While Judaism teaches that we should be very careful about sh'mirat haguf (preserving our bodies and health), and pekuach nefesh (protecting our lives at almost any cost), numerous scientific studies have linked animal-based diets directly to heart disease and heart attacks (the number-one cause of death in the United States), various forms of cancer (the number-two cause of death), stroke (the number-three cause of death), high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, atherosclerosis, aneurysms, rheumatoid arthritis, impotence, endometriosis, gallstones, gout, Alzheimer's, and other ailments. About two-thirds of diseases in the United States are diet-related-and vegetarians are much less afflicted. Note that even meat-eating doctors almost always recommend eating less meat, not more, while advocating the consumption of more fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains for better health.

Further, since more than half of all antibiotics in the United States are given to livestock (plus immense amounts of chemicals, steroids, hormones, and other drugs), resistant bacteria are increasing at an alarming rate, creating untreatable superbugs, like MRSA, that kill tens of thousands of people per year in the United States alone. And don't forget mad cow disease, bird flu, foot and mouth disease, E. coli, salmonella, and food poisoning. "If there were no poultry industry," concludes Neal Barnard, M.D., "there would be no epidemics of bird flu." And if there were no cow industry, there would be no E. coli outbreaks.

Packaged meat has been discovered to be injected with carbon monoxide to keep it looking red, even when it's rancid. Fish often contain mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and toxic POPs, including PCBs, DDT, and dioxin, which can't be removed from the fish and which bioaccumulate in consumers' bodies.

The meat industry is unhealthy and unsafe.

 A vegetarian diet (one that does not include any animals) or a vegan diet (a vegetarian diet that does not include any animal products at all, including meat, dairy, and eggs) can help prevent, and sometimes reverse, many of these health- and life-threatening conditions. Vegetarianism also reduces the need for medical attention, medicine, and drugs throughout one's life. As Albert Einstein said, "Nothing will benefit health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." It's time for us to evolve toward better personal and planetary health.

As fifteenth-century Rabbi Joseph Albo writes, "In the killing of animals, there is cruelty." Centuries earlier, Maimonides, both rabbi and physician, wrote that "There is no difference between the pain of humans and the pain of other animals." It is as simple as that. Compassion is not a new concept, yet it has to be continually renewed. The Sages of the Talmud (Beitza 32b) remark that "Jews are rachmanin b'nei rachmanin [compassionate children of compassionate ancestors], and one who is not compassionate cannot truly be a descendant of our father Abraham."


Why is it that many Jewish religious leaders advocate vegetarianism, including Chief Rabbi of Britain Jonathan Sacks, late Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Goren, and the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel Abraham Kook?

Why is it that the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen considers "the consumption of meat as halachically unacceptable"?

The Torah is full of commandments demanding humane treatment of animals, yet the modern factory farms that produce over 90% of the animal products we consume today raise their animals in unconscionable conditions of abject misery.  Jewish teachings emphasize the grave importance of protecting human health, yet the consumption of animal products in the United States is responsible for numerous diseases including heart disease, America's number one killer. Judaism places great concern on providing for the poor and the hungry, yet while 800 million people do not have enough food to sustain themselves, our carnivorous diets are at least ten times as wasteful of food resources as a vegetarian one.

Please read and learn about the growing Jewish vegetarian movement, and think about how Jewish teachings relate to decisions we make each day as we sit down to eat. As Rabbi Isaac ha-Levi Herzog said, "Jews will move increasingly to vegetarianism out of their own deepening knowledge of what their tradition commands... A whole galaxy of thinking rabbinic and spiritual leaders...has been affirming vegetarianism as the ultimate meaning of Jewish moral teaching."