Monday, January 14, 2008

Debate changed lives so should Jewish ed

Being a former debator, I take interest in debate news. There is a new major motion picture about High School Debate. The New York Times Sunday had this piece
"Life’s Work
Planning a Life With Room for Debate
Published: January 10, 2008
NEAR the start of the film “The Great Debaters,” the young man who would grow up to be the civil rights leader James Farmer Jr. comes home with the news that he has been chosen for his school’s debate team. His father sternly warns him that something as frivolous as debate must not get in the way of homework and grades. “Never take your eye off the ball,” he said. But one suspects that it was those debates, more than those grades, that led Mr. Farmer to found the Congress of Racial Equality and help change the world.
I was also a young debater, and although I can’t say that it helped me change the world, it certainly helped change me. I joined the team because it sounded like a laugh. Where else could you get trophies for arguing?
What I couldn’t have known was that I would grow up to give speeches at least once a month, play host to a satellite radio program once a week and earn a good percentage of my living by talking. The day I earned a spot on the team from John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, N.Y., was a pivotal day that changed everything that came afterward in my life — clear in hindsight, but invisible at the time.

Rabbi Reflects-today I think that way about Jewish education
In the end of the day, what could be learned there would be the most valuable of all things learned.

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