The writer is a former director of marketing and communications for Baltimore Hebrew University.
One reason I value my M.A. from Baltimore Hebrew University is that my education there was the most intellectually rigorous of the three college degree programs from which I have graduated. That was largely because of the standards set by Robert Freedman, as dean of graduate studies.
I'd hate to think that The Associated will dilute that value in shifting the university's orientation.
While it is true that institutions of higher Jewish education around the country have added a teacher-training component, it is also true that Jewish federations often gravitate toward coercion when beneficiary agencies don't blithely adopt their recommendations.
The conflicts become super-charged if the agency is a college or university, used to functioning in an atmosphere of supposed "academic freedom," a noble ideal that offers only dubious protection.
Then the federation needs an extra measure of sensitivity in exercising its authority, to avoid ham-handedness -which is never good, but is particularly un-kosher in a Jewish community that wants to see itself as compassionate and which, as "people of the book," attaches special value to education.
I hope The Associated finds the sensitivity needed to overcome the local crisis constructively.
However, if it finds that a Jewish teacher training program is necessary, its establishment should not require dulling the intellectual light that shines at BHU.
Lost in the politics of The Associated's coup d'etat at Baltimore Hebrew University are the real victims of this struggle, the students and faculty of BHU.
With the university's accreditation threatened, and many of its faculty members fed up with the interference in academic matters by community politicians, students are left with feelings of uncertainty, fear and anger that The Associated has seen fit to speak on our behalf without asking for our opinions.
The way to attract more qualified teachers is not to create a trade school, but to increase the salaries that both synagogue-based schools and Jewish day schools pay their teachers.
There are qualified men and women in the community who can't afford to teach because they have families to support.
I have never found the faculty at BHU unresponsive. In fact, I have found the faculty very concerned with students' academic progress and personal well-being.
What the university needs is to be able to raise its own funds to expand its high-caliber course catalogue and increase the size of its highly capable faculty.
The pain and uncertainty that the Associated is inflicting upon students and faculty at BHU is unconscionable.
Academic decisions are best left to the men and women best qualified to make those decisions, the academics themselves.
The writer is a student at Baltimore Hebrew University.
In Peru, voting is an effort
I was traveling in Peru recently during the corrupt re-election of Alberto Fujimori as the country's president ("Peru's election that failed," June 3).
Looking past the lines of military personnel in full riot gear and armored trucks, I was impressed by the fact that Peruvians who traveled with us designated time to vote on that Sunday - and that the resturaunts would not serve alcohol on election day.
Although the current corruption is discouraging to many Peruvians, and not representative of their view of how demonracy should operate, they still voted.
Many Peruvians appeared at polls but entered a ballot of "no vote" to express their displeasure with Mr. Fujimori - they did not simply stay home because they did not like the candidate.
As an American, I paused to reflect on the low voter turnout in most of our elections.
And I asked Peruvian companions what accounted for such persistence despite a displeasing ballot. They cited the deep, widespread desire to change the opportunities available to Peru's people.
Furthermore, Peruvian voters are tracked and they do not file a ballot in an election, the next time they go to withdraw money from the bank, the Peruvian government withdraws about $50 from their bank account.
This represents month's salary for many Peruvians.
What would happen if Americans lost the luxury of apathy
What if Americans who did vote lost a month's salary?
Drug treatment can save Park Heights
Every morning, the same routine: I get up, walk the dog, make a cup of tea, open The Sun and get more cynical.
Every morning, I yearn to read an article that is honest about the city's massive drug problem. Every morning, I am disappointed with ludicrous claims that progress is being made, crime is down and drug markets are closing.
But on June 9 a most unusual "Hallelujah!" passed from my lips: The Sun's article about Park Heights was honest and accurate in its portrayal of an extremely vital drug trade ("Baltimore faces new beachheads in war on drugs," June 9).