Interfaith

Why Schools Should Teach About All Cultures and Religions

December 31, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On December 31, 2000, in the Los Angeles Times , a professor of human development at Cal State offered a solution to the conflict that arose at Mariners Elementary School in Newport Beach when "a local rabbi and some of his congregation demanded the dismantling of holiday lights" put up at the school. The rabbi "called the act 'provocative,' saying it 'disfranchised' non-Christian students." At the same time, however, a Jewish mother "has been free to address classrooms of students about Hanukkah." The author suggests...

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Students Sometimes Adopt New Religious Beliefs

December 30, 2000

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

On December 30, 2000, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that religious experts cite a recent growth of religious life on college campuses, and the accompanying trend of students coming home from school with religious beliefs different than their families. "Some students," they say, "are turning toward a more lasting commitment to religion, while others are looking for a type of spirituality different from the beliefs they got from their parents." The result may be a feeling of alienation from parents, who may not...

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Top Religion News Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 30, 2000, The Washington Post reported on some of the biggest religion news stories of 2000.

The biggest one was "when Vice President Gore named Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, as his vice presidential running mate." Lieberman, thereby "the first Jewish candidate on a major party presidential ticket," called "for a greater role for religion in civic life." In this way, "the Democratic team...opened the door for Jewish Americans to play a more prominent...role in the nation's public life...

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Columnist Gives Top 10 Religion Stories of 2000

December 30, 2000

Source: The Boston Globe

On December 30, 2000, The Boston Globe ran Michael Paulson's "Top 10 religion stories of 2000:"

1. "Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) is nominated as the first Jewish candidate for vice president of the United States." Among other things, this caused Jews to question the "assumption that orthodoxy, at least for Jews, is incompatible with success in America."

2. "Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Bernard F. Law, and other Catholic prelates offer sweeping apologies for sins as part of celebration of Jubilee year...

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Synagogue's Dwindling Congregation

December 27, 2000

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On December 27, 2000, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on "a tiny, resilient Jewish community in Greene and Washington counties" serviced by the Beth Israel Synagogue. If the size of the congregation does not grow, said its vice president, "the decision has to be made as to whether it's viable to continue." Both counties have tiny Jewish populations, and, with southern Allegheny county, contribute "fewer than 150 members" to the congregation. The synagogue is able to survive on bequests from late members. Particularly...

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Suggested Approaches to Teaching Religion in Schools During the Holidays

December 26, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On December 26, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported on public schools' history of abstaining from religious material during the holidays. Since the mid-1980s, however, public schools have finally begun to focus on "the key role of religion in American life." Scholar Charles Haynes notes, "For the first time, we have a widely shared consensus that teaching about religion is important and constitutional." He claims, however, that we are still ignoring "how we will live with these religious differences."...

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School Districts Trying To Be More Sensitive During Holidays

December 25, 2000

Source: The Denver Post

On December 25, 2000, The Denver Post reported that while sensitivity to different cultures during the winter holiday season has increased, teachers, students and families must still be careful about how they treat the holidays. In schools, Christmas concerts, Santa Claus art projects and other traditional holiday celebrations are being replaced with winter festivals and global holiday rituals. Cory Elementary School begins the season by taking its students to a production which includes different religious celebrations. Efforts such...

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Multifaith Families Recognize Hanukkah and Christmas

December 25, 2000

Source: Star Tribune

On December 25, 2000, the Star Tribune reported on the unique ways in which the holidays are celebrated in the home of a junior in high school, who lives in a home with a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. They celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas each year.

Jews Find Joy In Christmas Season

December 24, 2000

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On December 24, 2000, the St. Petersburg Times reported that many Jews enjoy some aspects of the Christmas season. Sheila Weinstock, a Jew who grew up in Boston, said she never felt left out of the Christian holiday. Although she does not celebrate Christmas, she does not resent it, either. She said she enjoys the sacred connotations that go along with Christmas. Clara Solomon, also a Jew, said she loves the season. "Solomon always has loved sparkly things. For a time, she sold gold and diamonds at the Wagon Wheel Flea Market....

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Street in D.C. Displays Diverse Sample of Religious Places of Worship

December 24, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On December 24, 2000 The Washington Post reported on the diversity of religious structures along New Hampshire Avenue, located just outside the District line. The first of these is the elaborately decorated Cambodian Buddhist Temple, followed by the "Oz-like spires" of the Mormon Temple and "the onion domes" of St. Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. The Muslim Community Center, including community center, mosque, and minaret, and the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church are the two final landmarks along this eclectic...

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Children of Differing Faiths Share Their Views on Christmas

December 22, 2000

Source: Omaha World-Herald

On December 22, 2000, the Omaha World-Herald reported that Omaha Columbian Elementary School has a Christmas tree in the office, a Hannukah display in the trophy case and Ramadan books in the library during the holiday season. While the attempt has been to expose children to a multitude of cultures during this season, it is still difficult for those who do not celebrate Christmas not to feel left out. Sahar, al-Turk, a Muslim who has two daughters in school, said she credits the schools with providing students with the chance to...

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Clintons Celebrate Hannukah With Third Graders

December 22, 2000

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

On December 22, 2000, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that President and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton greeted 25 third-graders from the congregation of B'nai Tzedek in the oval office in recognition of Hannukah. The children sang a song about spinning dreidels and also lit one candle on a candelabrum.

Bush Meets With Religious Leaders To Discuss Plans For "Faith Based" Initiatives

December 21, 2000

Source: The New York Times

On December 21, 2000, The New York Times reported that President-elect George W. Bush met with about 30 ministers and other religious leaders, many of them black, to talk about his plans to expand the roles of the churches and charities in federal welfare programs. Bush asked the leaders for suggestions about how to proceed with "faith based" initiatives, which includes financing churches and private charities to take over government welfare functions as well as using tax breaks and other incentives to spark donations....

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