THE VOICE OF A VETERAN
September 22, 2015 Nonagenarian David Lipman, a veteran both of East Ramapo and World War Two, slowly made his way to the podium to address the East Ramapo School Board. Here are his prepared remarks.
My name is David Lipman, Spring Valley High School, Class of 1939,
from the original location on South Main St. Like many of my
classmates, I went on to college; I became a professional engineer.
Others became doctors, lawyers, teachers, police officers, artists,
musicians. One became an actor, with an engineering degree to fall
back on. Why? Because we were well EDUCATED. We were given solid
foundations in all subjects.
Then I came home, finished college, raised my family and sent my children to SVHS. My son, Walter is Class of 1972, and my daughter Ruth, 1976. Again, the Lipman family was well served by their excellent public school education. Both my children are professionals, and have a love of learning and reading, with inquisitive minds. Many of their classmates are likewise.
Now, I see what has become of this once fine school system, and I am appalled. I see that the perpetrators of this are largely my own people; people who were the subject of those unspeakable horrors at Dora and places like Dora. Is this how you repay the community to which you came? Is this why the people of this community fought and died- so that 70 years later, you could grind under your heel their grandchildren, as well as the next group of downtrodden immigrants?
I seem to recall two principles from my religious education; one,
that we are enjoined to make THE world a better place, not just OUR
world; and two, that we were strangers once, enslaved in Egypt. The
Torah tells us that we have an OBLIGATION to the stranger- the
Gentile- at least three times: Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:34 and
Deuteronomy 10:19. And yet, this is not what I see. Instead of
honey, we have poured bitter herbs on the books of these children,
if they have books at all! This defames the memory of both the
people of this community who died fighting against the enslavement
and horrors of the Holocaust, and those who were its victims. You
who are its survivors have a great obligation which you are failing