Letter to the community from the editor

(March 16, 2016) – Dear Readers: It has come to my attention that there were some inaccuracies printed in a letter to the editor that appeared on page 7 of the March 2016 edition of Edmonton Jewish News and I would like to take this opportunity to correct those errors.  The entire board of Talmud Torah Society has NOT resigned. The sentence should have read that several members of the Talmud Torah Society executive have resigned.

According to the Talmud Torah board, these members of the executive were not “bullied” into resigning and in fact are still members of Talmud Torah Society’s board, though they no longer hold executive positions.  They also did not resign at the behest of the Jewish Federation but each for their own personal reasons.

In the rest of the letter to the editor, the writer expresses perceptions and concerns about meetings that are occuring between the Talmud Torah Society and the Jewish Federation of Edmonton, particularly with regard to potential conflicts of interest for decision makers who sit on both boards.

Please note that the opinions expressed in the letter do not reflect the opinions of the editor or staff of Edmonton Jewish News; that is clearly printed as a disclaimer in our credits every month on page 2 of the newspaper.

In the past couple of days I have received a number of strong complaints about the letter from both the Jewish Federation and the Talmud Torah Society.  They both regard the content as false and the tone as damaging. They give strong assurances that the board members who sit on both boards are smart dedicated members of the community who are volunteering hours of their own time for the betterment of our community resources and they are extremely mindful of potential conflicts and recuse themselves as needed.

They also strongly refute the notion of a takeover.

I apologize for any personal and organizational damage that has taken place as a result of publishing the letter whose author requested that his/her name be withheld. It is certainly not my intention to damage the reputation of the School, the Society, the Federation or the board members. Nor would I want to dissuade smart caring members of our community from volunteering on boards.

As editor, I was satisfied that the author had knowledge about the current events and had spoken with several Talmud Torah Society board members (past and present) and I myself reached out to some Talmud Torah board members (past and present). As of today, I have been criticized by representatives from both boards for not doing more.

Jewish Federation of Edmonton president Ellery Lew disputes the perceptions of the author in a letter to the community that will appear in our April edition. I am also expecting a letter from Talmud Torah Society which will do the same.

Edmonton Jewish News provides a platform for different viewpoints on matters of interest to our community.

Many news outlets do publish letters by authors who have requested that their names be withheld or interview people for articles who wish to remain anonymous.  However in light of the current situation, Edmonton Jewish News will henceforth refrain from doing so.


Deborah Shatz, Editor

Edmonton Jewish News

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