Regarding Stewart Ain’s “Cutthroat Jewish Education: Pilfered Class Lists” (Nov. 19), the sharing of contact information is not limited to day schools in the Jewish world. It has been my experience that membership lists, whether in a synagogue, PTA, sisterhood, outreach organization or some other communal institution are shared more often than most people realize. Often it is done by well meaning people who assume those on the list are fine with their contact information being shared. Regretfully, these people fail to realize the presumptuous nature of such a practice.
Joining a PTA, a synagogue, making a donation or participating in just about any activity or organization in the Jewish community should not provide immediate license for one’s contact information to be shared with other institutions. I suspect that some organizations do have privacy standards, but maintaining any level of control over it is simply not a priority.
In the case of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Nassau County, it is quite likely that a parent mistakenly passed the list along without any realization of offending anyone. Also, there is no doubt North Shore sent the postcards out with only the best of intentions.
Despite how some may view what was done, let us not forget that postcards are not as intrusive as phone calls. This is an area that needs to be looked into. At this point, it would be a mistake to harbor a grudge against these institutions for either their action or reaction. The fact that children’s names were indicated on the cards adds a dimension that, in this day and age, is clearly pushing the limits. If we can all learn something from this experience, perhaps we will be all the better for it.