Students Need Wider View Of History

Students Need Wider View Of History

Most American students, including most Jewish students, unfortunately know very little about modern history (“Ramaz Israel Row Points To Larger Trends,” Feb. 28). Before inviting or disinviting speakers of any persuasion, Jewish day schools have an obligation to expose their students to the full story of the 20th-century experiences of Jews from Arab/Muslim countries — Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya and more — which can be done quite effectively in a visual medium through painstakingly made documentary films, all easily available from the National Center for Jewish Film.

In preparation for “seeking a wider view on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Modern Orthodox students need first to have a wider view of modern Jewish history in toto. Then they will be prepared to ask the relevant questions of their speakers. The current situation on college campuses, where propaganda triumphs over truth, should not be repeated in the day schools, but neither should the students be made to feel that they cannot hear opposing views. They simply need to be prepared with facts.

Manhattan The writer is a documentary filmmaker.

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