Stop The Whispering

Dear Editor,

It is about time that someone openly addressed the negative whispers and disgraceful innuendo circulating through our community about two courageous candidates for the Lawrence School Board.

It is apparent that a certain element on our current school board wants to maintain their status quo. So they are slinging mud at more principled candidates, Dov Herman and Rabbi Nahum Marcus–labeling them “divisive” for being outspoken and calling them “disruptive” for even putting their names on the May 21 ballot.

This covert “whisper campaign” is a clear act of desperation. I contend that dissent based on one’s principles is not divisive. Running for school board–or for any public office–is also not divisive. In a democracy, these are acts of courage. Anyone willing to stand up and speak out for our community’s best interests should be applauded, supported, and elected–but never derided or unjustly maligned in hushed whispers at shul.

Rabbi Marcus has been a terrific advocate for our entire community, for higher educational standards, and for our special-needs children and their families. Mr. Herman will bring new ideas and a better understanding of our community to the school board. If you are like me and are worried that our school board will once again veer off course when it comes to selling the Number Six School, I urge you to dismiss the unjust whispers and elect Rabbi Marcus and Dov Herman on Tuesday, May 21.

Their presence on our current “go-with-the-flow, accept-the-status-quo” school board will help ensure that the Number Six School sale receives greater public scrutiny and that it is handled with integrity and transparency.

Herb Marek

Voters For Marcus

And Herman

Dear Editor,

I urge parents and property owners to elect Dov Herman and to reelect Nahum Marcus to the Lawrence Board of Education on May 21. Our school board needs more community-minded, independent thinkers.

For the six years that Rabbi Marcus has served as a board trustee, he has been an outspoken advocate for our community, not to mention how much he personally does for our district’s special-needs children and their families.

Dov Herman is a parent and small-business owner who will bring a fresh outlook and greater understanding of our community’s needs to the school board. He is also a qualified building inspector whose expertise will help our board to better assess its building infrastructure and grounds.

I am confident that Rabbi Marcus and Mr. Herman are also the best candidates to ensure this school board complies with the voters’ mandate to handle the Number Six School responsibly. They will make sure that new bids or any deal to sell the school is handled openly and with our community’s best interests in mind.

On Tuesday, May 21, I hope our entire community elects Mr. Herman and reelects Rabbi Marcus to our school board by voting for ballot Line C.

Neil Krakauer


Dear Editor,

I was glad to hear Dov Herman is running for the Lawrence Board of Education on May 21. It would be terrific to have a person of such integrity and candor looking out for our interests and concerns.

Dov Herman is a small-business owner, a home inspector, and a 14-year resident of the Five Towns. Dov and his wife, Vickie, a public-school special-education coordinator, are the parents of five children, who range from age 2 to 18.

He is an involved parent at his children’s schools–the Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School, Shulamith, and the Yeshiva of South Shore. Dov is an active member of the Agudath Israel of the Five Towns and Congregation Bais Medrash of Cedarhurst.

Dov is also founder and organizer of the popular community Concert on the Lawn Series which benefits the Heller Resource Center, a special-education program at the Yeshiva of South Shore.

In addition, Dov is a founding member of the Community Coalition of the Five Towns (CC5T). He helped lead its campaign to defeat the March 20 referendum to overdevelop the Number Six School site.

I am quite certain Dov Herman will ensure that our school board behaves more openly and looks out for the public good as it reconsiders this sale. He will bring a fresh perspective to the board and be a positive, unifying force for our community.

Dov has my vote on May 21! If you want to protect our community interests and its future, vote Line C on your ballot: Elect Dov Herman and reelect Rabbi Nahum Marcus.

Rita Francis

Dear Editor,

I am pleased to endorse Nahum Marcus for reelection to a third term on the Lawrence Board of Education. During his six years as a board trustee, Rabbi Marcus has been an independent voice who consistently promotes the best interests of our community.

Rabbi Marcus is a tireless advocate for our district’s special-needs children and their families. He has fought passionately to enhance the quality of education and the services our district provides to children.

When Rabbi Marcus recognized that the school district’s deal to sell the Number Six School to an outside developer was unfair and detrimental to our community, he was first to speak out against it–protecting our interests.

Time and again, Rabbi Marcus has been our community advocate on this board. He encourages school-board transparency and responsiveness while fostering community understanding and unity.

On Tuesday, May 21, I urge our entire community to support and reelect Rabbi Nahum to our school board by voting for ballot Line C.

David Mark, MS, LMSW


Marcus Heard Their Plea

Dear Editor,

My wife and I became acquainted with Nahum Marcus on a day that I would consider the worst in my life. The district transferred my son–who at one time attended a Lawrence District school–to a BOCES facility because they said they could not handle his needs.

The school chosen for him was unsafe and did not meet his high academic needs. While my son is on the autistic spectrum, he is considered twice exceptional because he is a gifted special-needs learner. He weighed less than 50 pounds and stood at approximately 42 inches tall, and was instantly bullied in his new placement by kids who towered over him.

We were told by their staff that despite our child’s advanced knowledge, “Academics are not as important in this school as discipline,” yet they failed to discipline their other students. Despite our pleas to some former Lawrence School District administrators that their school choice was not acceptable or appropriate, we were ignored and treated as an inconvenience.

My last hope for getting help for my son was to explain my son’s situation to the Board of Education at a public meeting and to literally beg for assistance. When it was my turn to speak, I tried to read my prepared statement to the board, but was unable to get through it because I was so emotional that I was shaken and started to faint.

While some school administrators were verbally apathetic to my desperate plea, Nahum Marcus took an interest in our situation and listened to our concerns about our treatment by the former administration. Rabbi Marcus made us feel that we weren’t a bother because we were asking for the proper placement for our son.

Rabbi Marcus was genuinely concerned about our poor treatment by the former administrators and he facilitated a better working relationship between our family and the school district personnel.

Rabbi Marcus could have taken the easy way out and ignored us once my “two minutes to speak” were finished. He didn’t–and he never has. Over the years, I have often heard that he has helped numerous families who have children with special needs from both the public- and private-school communities.

Rabbi Marcus never turns away families who need help for their children, and he understands that the role of a school-board trustee is to treat all of the district children fairly. Rabbi Marcus treats each child as if he or she were his own, no matter their ethnicity, religious background, or special needs.

Our son was able to learn and succeed, to make numerous appropriate friendships, and to work toward achieving professional goals for his future because of Rabbi Marcus.

I appreciate the dedicated service he has shown to my family and for every child in our district. My wife, my son, and I enthusiastically support Rabbi Marcus for another term on the Lawrence School Board.

Richard Rosenfeld


High Bar At The JCC

Dear Editor,

Thank you and thanks to Phyllis Lubin for her wonderful article (“Another Mother’s Musings: Memorable Moments,” April 26) highlighting one of the many outstanding programs available at the JCC of the Greater Five Towns. It was inspiring to read about the opportunities offered to all the members of our community. This is a very fitting tribute to the retiring executive director, Rina Shkolnik, who put tremendous effort into bringing the JCC up to the extraordinary level of service that it has attained. Our community would be at a great loss without the efforts of the many professionals who have worked for the betterment of the neighborhood and who have risen to the very high bar set by Ms. Shkolnik. I look forward to reading many more articles about the excellent programs and services available there.

Sharona Arbeit


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