In response to “SAR’s ‘Grand Convener’ Hits A Milestone,” (Aug. 25):

In a Jewish high school that has control over its curriculum, teaching Arabic would seem to be an easy call for current and historical reasons. Not only is Israel’s fate inextricably bound with its Arab neighbors, but much of the most significant Jewish texts were written in Arabic —certainly more than in Spanish.

Rabbi [Tully] Harcsztark has shown an openness that is celebrated and honored mainly because so few other Jewish educators have done the same. He’s enough of a Torah scholar not to have to prove his frumkeit [religious observance] by staying wedded and tethered to outmoded thinking and static outlooks. The only sad part of the story is that his accomplishments in Jewish education are such an outlier, and that so few other schools have been able to achieve what he’s done with SAR.

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