Election is a learning experience for students, parents
by Sergio Carmona, Journal Staff Writer • November 2008
tudents and parents of Miami Beach’s Lehrman Community Day School received a learning experience about politics and the election when both Barack Obama and John McCain supporters visited last week. Sen. Joe Lieberman provided his continued support for McCain and Author Judy Blume spoke about her support for Obama. Rabbi Seth Linfield, head of school, felt their presence was significant to a school where learning is not just a pediatric activity. “Part of what goes into making our mission in being a reflective Jew and a citizen is modeling,” he said. “We look at our parents as models and our faculty and staff as models, so you have a double benefit effect. You have the parents growing as individuals and as better people and we want our students to emulate that kind of behavior as they become adults.” Author Judy Blume, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, visited Lehrman Community Day School last week to speak to both students and parents about the presidential candidates that they support.
Lieberman hopes that his presentation at the school affects the students. “I hope it [presentation] interests them in government at least that they’ll want to know what’s happening and that they know it affects their lives and maybe that, particularly this Jewish day school, it gives some of them an idea that one of the ways that you fulfill every Jewish person’s responsibility to make the world better is through involvement in politics. Blume, who was joined by Eric Lynn, Obama For America’s Middle East policy advisor, and Peter Deutsch, former congressman of Florida’s 20th district, said she wanted to speak to the school’s community about her support for Obama because of her 17-year-old grandson. “Because of my grandson, my oldest grandchild, I have made the decision to speak out publicly about politics for the first time because I want him to know that I did everything that I possibly could to elect a president who has the ability and vision to turn our country around,” she said. Ariela Zebede, a sixth grader from the school, discussed what she learned from both presentations. “Lieberman taught us that even though people have different views, they can work together,” she said. “Judy Blume spoke out about writing and where the ideas came from and that you should just write from the heart.” Elan Kainen, a seventh grader, agreed with what Lieberman discussed in his presentation. “He said that you shouldn’t feel you have to vote for that party you belong in and that you should feel that you should vote for the person you really feel is the right one for the job,” he said A few parents also spoke about their feelings regarding the visits. Michelle Robinson said that she thought it was very nice that the school is thinking of the combination of family community with politics and Rabbi Celso Cukierkorn feels that the students will benefit from the visits. “I believe that the school getting involved in the civic process is extremely important for the education of those Americans and future voters,” Cukierkorn said.