Wednesday, June 20, 2007

South Anchorage High School Jewish Student Cries About Cross-Country Meet Scheduled For Yom Kippur

A Jewish student on the South Anchorage (Alaska) High School cross-country team has complained to the Anchorage School Board about the fact that the Anchorage School District's annual cross-country regionals meet is scheduled for Yom Kippur. Original story published in the Anchorage Daily News; this post summarizes the story.

Brian Kirchner, a Jewish student who will be a senior at South High next year and who has been a member of the school's cross-country team since his freshman year, testified at last week's school board meeting that "it isn't fair that he or any other student has to choose between the most important religious observance of his faith and an event that would be the peak of his high school cross-country experience". He noted that it's his last chance to run against people he's competed against since his freshman year.

"For the upcoming running season, I'm going to be a senior and I want to succeed at regions for my final year of competition," Kirchner said. He claimed that none of this would be happening had the district had listened to a task force that convened a couple of years ago. At the time, the task force recommended that groups wanting to hold extracurricular activities on special religious days should have to get permission first from the Anchorage School Board. Ellen Kirchner, Brian's mother, served on that task force; she told the Anchorage Daily News that when her son was presented the same choice in 2004, he chose not to run in the meet.

The cross-country regionals meet, a major sporting event for Anchorage students, has been scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd, 2007, at Kincaid Park. But September 22nd is also Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), one of Judaism's holiest days, similar in status to Easter for Christians, or Ramadan for Muslims. Complicating the issue is the fact that the 2004 cross-country regionals also occurred on Yom Kippur, and the 2006 meet on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). Apparently, this repetitive pattern is leading some local Jews to believe they are being "persecuted". Oy, vey!

During the school board meeting, John Clark, who coaches cross-country at Dimond High and has represented the other coaches from that sport with whom they've coordinated meet dates, also testified. He said that when they first realized the event fell on Yom Kippur, most still preferred that Saturday -- the last day of the cross-country season. Clark also brought up the famous case of Sandy Koufax, a Jewish pro-baseball player who skipped a World Series game that fell on Yom Kippur, as an illustration of how one can make personal choices. "We all deal with personal conflicts in our life," Clark said. "We all have to make decisions. I think as educators and coaches we need to help students make those choices, not avoid them".

When school board member Jeff Friedman asked why the meet could not be re-scheduled for Sunday, September 23rd, Clark reminded the board that Sunday events are against the rules. Clark further stated "We're talking about 400 runners. Of that, about 100 are varsity. And of that, I may be wrong, but I believe only one of those athletes is Jewish". Friedman ignores the fact that Sunday is the traditional Christian Sabbath, although the jam-packed parking lots of our local malls on Sunday would seem to belie that point. This is a reminder to us Christians - if we don't respect and honor our own religious traditions, how can we expected non-Christians to respect our traditions? This is one major reason why Islam is on the march worldwide, while most of Christianity is in retreat.

Gary Matthews, executive director of the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), which organizes interscholastic athletic events, addressed the Sunday rule at length. First, he explained that said the Sunday prohibition is not because it's the mainstream Christian Sabbath, but it's because of schedule logistics, travel, and even labor agreements with teachers and coaches.

Matthews also explained that Saturday, September 22nd is the deadline for regional competitions, and that, while ASAA has granted occasional waivers for Sunday games, they have never allowed a regional tournament to go on after that deadline.

Matthews also claimed that ASAA honestly didn't know that Yom Kippur fell on September 22nd when they set the date of the meet, even though it was at least the third time ASAA scheduled the event on a Jewish high holy day. Complicating the issue is the fact that, because Yom Kippur is based on the Jewish calendar, it does NOT fall on the same day each year on the mainstream calendar, unlike Christian holidays. The same problem exists with Muslim holidays, based on the Islamic calendar, which is why Ramadan begins on a different day each year. Since ASAA plans twenty state championships within a nine-month period every year, one can begin to appreciate the complexity of the problem, particularly if other minority groups start demanding that all their "holy days", such as the Chinese New Year, Tet, etc., be considered. As a matter of fact, this is exactly why ASAA doesn't look for these dates.

"If we look at a Jewish holiday, but don't do it for any other holiday, we could be accused of discrimination", said Matthews. Instead, ASAA uses the following standard: If a holiday is one that would cancel school -- like Christmas, Fourth of July or Thanksgiving -- ASAA won't hold activities those days.

Anchorage School District Superintendent Carol Comeau said she would have stopped the Yom Kippur-timed meet had she known about it in advance. In the fall of 2005, she recommended that student activities not be held on important Christian, Jewish, Russian Orthodox, Muslim and other faiths' holidays. "It's just time to recognize that we are a very diverse community," Comeau said. "And our students should be able to participate in their religious practices just like we expect the Christians to be able to participate in theirs. We're not going to schedule school events on these very significant holidays. We don't schedule them on Easter; we don't schedule them on Christmas. To me, it's the same thing".

Analysis: This is a classic situation illustrating how "diversity" and "multiculturalism" complicates our lives, even down to the grass roots level in a community without the history of violent racial polarization present in other American cities. The imposition of the "diversity" agenda requires that competency and efficiency take a back seat to proportionality. Kind of a nasty trade-off for more ethnic restaurants, isn't it?

Making an exception for Jewish religious holidays, BY ITSELF, would have a negligible impact. The real problem is the precedence that would be set, a precedence that even the legally-trained school board member Jeff Friedman doesn't seem to grasp. If we ban interscholastic athletic events from taking place on Jewish religious holidays, other groups will seize upon this as a precedence to embark upon litigation to get "their days" likewise exempted. It would be only a matter of time before local Muslim activists (mercifully few in Anchorage, thank "Allah") would demand that Muslim students in ASD schools be allowed to leave their classrooms for their "five daily prayers", creating even more disruption in the name of "diversity". And this has already happened down in Seattle; Muslim students in Seattle Public Schools are allowed to leave their classrooms during the school day to engage in "prayers".

Furthermore, since when is it fair for one student to dictate the agenda for the 399 other students who are runners? This would be the tyranny of the minority. Government is supposed to stay out of religion as long as religion obeys the law. Even the Anchorage Lubavitch community was smart enough to recognize this, and withdraw its sponsorship of the proposed Jewish commuinity center in Rogers Park when the local neighborhood virtually erupted in protest over the logistical nightmare which would have ensued from its construction and operation. It seems like the current standard usede by ASAA (if a holiday is one that would cancel school -- like Christmas, Fourth of July or Thanksgiving -- ASAA won't hold activities those days) is adequate. However, it would not be inappropriate for the Anchorage School District to explore the possibility of allowing some athletic events to take place on Sunday when other days are not available and upon prior approval by the School Board. It should remain the exception rather than the norm, but it should be allowed if clearly needed.


  1. I agree that the kid should do a Sandy Koufax and not run. Some things aren't worth the headache.
    Besides, if it doesn't work for you don't wait until the last minute to think about it.

    Although the idea of not allowing Sunday events is ridiculous. Sundays aren't held sacred by so many of you as it is. So why not allow events on those days?
    We all know a good majority of Christians don't spend the day praying any more than a secular Jew or Muslim does on their Sabbaths. Most of them go to services and then spend the rest of the day goofing off and there is no god involved in any of it. In other words an hour or two with Sunday undies are all that goes on.
    As for Congress shall not making laws concerning religion, I guess they forgot that one when they made CHRISTmas a Federal holiday, huh? Now I like the day off, it works for me but I find it against the law.
    And dealing with those who landed in Utah is considered part of the diversity that is forced upon people of this county or have you forgotten that one, Carl? Including the BS of posthumous baptizing of people who don't believe in your very young (no pun intended) religion of choice.
    Besides, you yap about other religions (mostly Judaism) and it seems Mormons are trying really hard to convert anyone and everyone in their path. They are considered to be one of the fastest growing religions in America. Talk about supremacy......are you Mormons trying to take over the world? Now isn't that a thought.....!
    So Carl! You really need to put your mind in gear before you start putting your fingers or mouth in motion.

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  3. Wah wah wah.

    Snivel snivel snivel.

    Reminds me of the joke: How does a jewess screw in a light bulb? She holds it up in the air and expects the whole world to revolve around her.

    What this jewish brat wanted was the whole high school to revolve around him.


    Judith, Mormon women are hot! jewish women are not!

  4. Jack, does everything you and the other dofus (Sam) write revolve around sex? Where do you come up with this insane BS when you reply to a post? I'm sure most Mormon women wouldn't give you the time of day sweety. Most I know prefer men who are doing something besides sitting around plunking a geetar and swilling beer.
    As for the subject....
    So one kid wants to change one track meet....whoopee doo!
    Screw-balls like you, Carl and your siamese twin, Sam, wants the WHOLE world to revolve around them.
    If you read enough posts on places like Stormfront you would think the whole world was white at some point in time. You have clowns thinking the Mayans were white, Egyptians were white, all of Africa was white, Iraqis were once white, Chinese were white, Hindus were white, dog shit was once white...blah blah blah.
    Yes indeed! You have a problem with not being the end to the means when you hear dumb asses such as yourself talk. Give it up you sound stupid.

  5. Judith,

    Touchy touchy. Did I strike a nerve?

    Most of the jewish women I see have gnarled, unsightly faces, haggard and shriveled like a kosher pickle, faces that look weathered by hurricanes or maybe one too many polygraph tests. Some of you jewesses are so freaky looking that you even look like old men.

    Like I said before. Mormon women are hot!!!! Yeah! White baby breeding machines! They manufacture lots of toe-head blond and blue eyed angels. That's something you'll never see, Judith, unless you're kidnapping them on purim. I wouldn't put it past you to engage in ritual sacrifice.

    So nice of you to compare White people to dog shit. Voting, tax-paying White Gentiles are finding out how you "chosen" people really feel about them.

    You know what the difference is between dog shit and a nigger, Judith? Dog shit turns white and quits stinking after a few days. But a jew will never be white, and a jew will always stink.


  6. There was nothing "touchy" about my post Jackie boy. If you believe your childish talk about ugly women bothers me you need to try harder. Insults aren't worth breaking a sweat over, especially ones from low class fools like you.
    I would like to know if you plan on dating any Mormon women who aren't white? I didn't see where you made that distinction in your first post.
    The Mormons do have more than blonde haired blue-eyed females in their churches, right? You must not being paying much attention while playing that geetar and swilling that mind numbing beer!
    Infact here lately I've seen Mormon missionaries going through a rather mixed race neighborhood chatting with everyone not just blondies. Face it Jackie a lot of people don't hold to your fringe insanity, you aren't normal and it's not pleasing to anyone including God.
    I wasn't comparing dog shit to white people, I was comparing dog shit to you and yours. It goes like this sweety, there are so many shades of "white" that even your so called people argue over it.
    Some of your ilk believe if you have brown hair and eyes you aren't really white. Your kind are confused and mentally can't handle the world outside of your own thick skulls.
    Mormon women are "White baby breeding machines!"? I highly doubt any of the Mormons I know would appreciate that. One look at you and they would just consider the source.
    I'm actually surprised you even like Mormons since they have accepted other races into their religion. The stupidity is oozing out of your pores Jackie.

  7. Judith,

    Please....don't even try to mask your contempt for White people, whom you've so jewishly coined Euro-"peon" Americans.

    Lying IS your style, but that doesn't mean you're any good at it.

    I seriously doubt you do know any Mormons, given all the shit you continuously talk about them on this blog. You spit venom at Christians like a coiled snake, but when you think it better suits you, you pass yourself off as a harbinger of tolerance.

    The only thing truthful you've said is that Mormons are essentially universalists, unlike your "chosen" tribe. Yes, some non-Whites are Mormons. But few are attracted to the LDS church, perhaps due to the church's policies on social behavior and abstinence from addictive substances (e.g., alcohol, caffeine, etc.). This discipline usually attracts Whites.

    And yes, all the Mormon women I've seen are White and exceptionally attractive. Like I said: White baby breeding machines!!! No wonder you can't stand Mormons.

    Now back on topic. "So one kid wants to change one track meet....whoopee doo!" What???? This jewish brat didn't want to skip a meet for religious reasons---which would be perfectly understandable---he wanted everyone else to reschedule their meets around his religion. That's so jewish.

  8. Jackie boy, I'm not really worried about what a low-life such as yourself might think or believe.
    There are jerk-offs in all religions and I just point out the fact that Carl happens to be one of those in the Mormon religion.
    See the difference?
    There are good Mormons and there are jerk-offs like Carl. Then there are fools like you that believe the women are there for you to screw and knock up until they are worn out. I would call that the April Gaede effect.
    You make them sound like something out of a puppy mill....your mother must be so freaking proud of her inbred little boy.
    End of that subject....
    As for the Jewish kid, like I said he should do a Sandy Koufax and not run. I'd say the same about any religion, if you are that concerned about it make sure you say something instead of waiting until the last minute.
    Now run along and swill some beer, plunk that geetar and tell yourself how important "white" people like you are and how the world revolves around your sex infatuated, drunken ass. And the stupidity keeps oozing out of you....

  9. I found your blog doing a google of "Anchorage" and "Muslim".

    I just wanted to add (from your bit about activist muslims in Anchorage), I am a practicing Muslim, I graduated from East High last year. I converted to Islam while a sophomore at West High. And I made ALL 5 of my prayers, whether or not school was in (only 2 during school hours), and took days off to celebrate my holidays, at both schools.

    I think ASAA should accomodate and change the date, or the kid should pull a Sandy Koufax.

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  11. I can't believe how many people are so intolerent. The comments on this post are mainly people bashing other religions and races. I go to south, with isn't very diverse, but we (the students) at least try to be open minded.

    I feel this kid should have spoken up earlier. It seems a shame that it falls on Jewish holiday's so often, especially when it's not on the same mainstream calander every year, but if they have to make sure everyone who finals can make the regionals, it could never take place.