Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yellow "Jude" stars on our kids, what do you think?

A guest post by TikunOlam

Every year my children's school provides an extensive, thought provoking, and emotional program for Yom Ha'Shoah. Programs are different for different age groups. As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I am glad that the school places such a high priority on teaching the children about the Shoah and provides an opportunity to help them begin to understand the gravity of the tragic six million losses to our people as well as the profound impact it has had on Jews and in our case, our immediate family.

Today, I was told by my oldest, they lit candles - one for each million. They listened to a "Living Witness," a survivor who told her story. And this year, like every year, each child was given a yellow star to wear with the word "Jew," "Jupe" or "Jude" on it and explained its significance. The first year my son was at this school he came home wearing his "Jude" star. I was not prepared for this. I got pretty emotional. I had a strong visceral reaction and thought maybe the school should have sent out a note to parents to educate them and prepare them for the program. I even spoke with the principal about it. This year my older son did not wear his star and my younger one, at his brother's suggestion, took his off before he got off the school bus. My older son never forgot about my reaction that first year and wanted to be sensitive to my feelings. He felt that since it had caused me distress, that it must be somehow "wrong" for the school to give out these stars for the children to wear. It is not that I think it is wrong. I am actually still unsure how I feel about it. But my gutt tells me that I don't want to see my children coming off the bus wearing these stars.

What do you think?

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