Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A.D.L. against the defamation of Debbie Almontaser

I was so glad to see this letter by the Anti-Defamation League to the editor of the New York Sun. As the letter states, the New York Sun published unfounded attacks against the Kahlil Gibran Internation Academy (on whose Advisory Council I sit) and its principal-to-be, Ms. Debbie Almontaser.

The ADL is the most influential organization in America in the fight against Anti-Semitism. If they be for us, who can be against us?

Letters to the Editor, The New York Sun, Monday, May 07, 2007

To the Editor:

The recent controversy over the Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn, set up to teach Arabic language and culture in addition to the usual courses, has unleashed unfounded attacks against the NYC Department of Education's new high school, accusing it of being a madrassa and a haven for Islamic extremism ("A Madrassa Grows in Brooklyn," April 24 and "Madrassa Plan Is Monstrosity," May 1).

These attacks have also been personally directed at KGIA's principal, Debbie Almontaser. The Anti-Defamation League has a long history of working with Ms. Almontaser through our anti-bias workshops.

Through joint coalition work in Brooklyn against hate crimes, she has demonstrated her support for the civil liberties of all people. She is deeply committed to creating an inclusive learning environment that embraces the unparalleled diversity in New York City.

To help support this goal, we are in discussion with Ms. Almontaser about implementing our A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute anti-bias training in KGIA.

The school's Arabic language requirement, combined with conflict resolution and international diplomacy training, opens the possibility of creating a well informed generation of leaders.

The Khalil Gibran International Academy is just one of several in the New York City school system devoted to teaching a specific language and culture; the others include Russian, French, Spanish, and Japanese.

These schools are open to all students and those who choose to attend can be enriched by the added dimension.

Joel J. Levy
New York Regional Office

(And thank you, Louise, for posting this in Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn)

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