Top Menu

Important lesson at ex-Jewish school, now Muslim


Happy Roshashanah, tizku l’shanim rabot and Shana Tovah.

By Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune

On Monday afternoon, Lori Lippitz and her little band of well-wishers pulled into the parking lot of the school they once thought of as theirs.

They came bearing gift baskets — fruit, flowers, nuts, pencils, rulers — and a card that said, “We wish for you and your children many years of love, learning and laughter in the home that is now yours.”

They also came with some trepidation.

How would it feel to walk back into their old Jewish school, which this August had reopened as a Muslim school?

What had happened to their prayer room?

Would the mosaic that told the biblical story of Genesis still be on the wall?

For 34 years, beginning in 1978, the old brick building on Gross Point Road in Skokie had housed Solomon Schechter Day School, which was as much a spiritual haven as a school.

“When it closed,” said Lippitz, whose daughter was a student there, “we felt that something important had ended in our lives.”

But demographics shape destinies, and as some of Skokie’s Jewish residents moved to other suburbs, the school’s enrollment declined. By 2012 what remained of the Skokie school had been consolidated into the Solomon Schechter Day School in Northbrook.

Meanwhile, 21/2 miles away, in Morton Grove, the MCC Full Time School kept growing.

Opened in 1990 with 25 students and a curriculum that emphasizes Islamic studies, MCC had expanded to serve several hundred students. It had a long waiting list.

When the old Schechter school, owned by a Skokie school district, went up for sale at auction, MCC bought it. Now it’s MCC Academy for preschoolers to fifth-graders.

Shortly after news of the purchase got around, Lippitz, a singer who founded the popular Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, ran across an online comment from a Skokie resident responding to the change, a comment that struck her as “unwelcoming and a little xenophobic.”

“The person who put it there probably did not mean to do anything but express sadness at the loss of a Jewish institution,” she said.

Still, she worried.

Who knew, especially given the latest violence in the Middle East, what kind of hostility the school’s new inhabitants might encounter?

“Times of social anxiety and distress are precisely the times when one has to make a point to be seen as welcoming,” she said.

Read the rest…

, , , , , , , , ,

  • Jean Markale

    I’m just saying that I kept reading waiting for the story to start and it never did.

  • Jekyll

    LOL! you what

  • Omar_the_Egyptian

    Lolz what?

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    Lol wtf? XD

  • Jean Markale

    Yea, you know I think for this story Loonwatch could have given us the meat instead of the soup. We never actually read what happened, just the lead-in. For all I know the Jews get there and start chopping people up and make them into curry.

    It does, however, seem like a story with a good ending. So that’s probably not what happened…

  • Anonymous

    As I stated in my previous comment, Early muslims extensively used the Star of David (Known as the Seal of Solomon) out of respect for the Prophet Dawood (David).

  • Solid Snake

    JSB is far from an AntiArab or AntiMuslim racist, in fact he actively fights against Islamophobia right on this website! I disagree with him on many things concerning Israel-Palestine but I can say for sure that he does not have a racist bone in his body. I believe it is entirely unfair to label him as a supremacist or racist (unless you gave some direct solid proof), I recommend apologizing, but that’s just me.

  • Anonymous

    If I recall correctly, there as an Islamic nation which used the Star of David on their flag.

    Flag of the Karamanid Dynasty from 1250-1487

    Also muslims call this symbol the “Seal of Solomon” and has been used before by muslim states

  • Anonymous

    I wish we could have more peaceful, loving news like this.
    All this negativity can really take a toll on a person

  • Just_Stopping_By

    Sigh. I’m away for Rosh HaShanah and a very nice holiday greeting devolves into this string. Before I respond to that, a sincere thanks, Tanveer, for the greeting and the shout-out!

    I thought about providing an extremely long response, but I imagine that those who will want to listen already think of me as you do, Tanveer, and those who would not want to listen will have their own views. So, I’ll limit myself to the following moderately long response:

    My experience here is that there are some who have their own views of the contours of Zionism and insist that all Zionists fit into that view–and if they don’t appear to fit, they must be misrepresenting themselves (the analog of the taqiyya argument one sees with those who think that all Muslims must fit into certain contours as defined by Madhab Spencer). Others will look at the views and actions of different Zionists to understand the contours of the ideology. My positions fall within a well-populated area of mainstream Zionism. My views are what I have specifically stated in various comments or guest posts. They are not better nor worse, not more rational nor more insane, and not smarter nor dumber because of what anyone else who calls themself a Zionist believes or because of what anyone else believes my views must be based on generalizations.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    Why were there star of davids on Muslim gravestones?

  • Jekyll

    Then that is all that should concern you, my good Earl.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan


  • Jekyll

    Do you not ?

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    But you consider him to be supremacist?

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Or a Star of David. After all you can find a Star of David on many old Islamic buildings or Muslim headstones in Bosnia and other countries which once belonged to the Ottoman Empire.

  • Jekyll

    No not godless

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    Do you think Emir JSB is a secular, Godless, racist, supremacist Jew?

  • Jekyll

    Oh young earl you have read on Zionism, the secular godless racist Juden supremacist ideology ?

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    He never struck me as a racist/anti-Palestinian.

  • Jekyll

    Good. Keep that in mind. A racist.

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    I know.

  • mindy1

    Could not read article, needed to subscribe, but it seems as though it would have a good ending

  • mindy1

    Aww thanks 😀

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    Shanah Tovah to the Jews of the World, especially mindy and Emir JSB.

Powered by Loon Watchers