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Behind the Aegis

(54,197 posts)
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 04:17 AM Dec 2023

Hanukkah Song Removed From School Concert in Rochester, Minnesota

A choir teacher removed a Hanukkah song from a middle school holiday concert in Rochester, Minnesota, after students “expressed concern that singing a traditionally Jewish song could be perceived as taking a side in the ongoing international conflict,” according to a report by KTTC-TV.

The story, by reporter Megan Zemple, says the incident involves Kellogg Middle School and was confirmed by the School District, which stressed it does not have a district policy banning religious songs.

According to Zemple’s report, the teacher also removed a Kwanzaa song from the concert. The teacher was not identified in the report.


The district also told KTTC:

A teacher removed two songs from the planned repertoire of holiday songs: a Kwanzaa song and a Hanukkah song. Both proved too difficult to learn to the quality expected within the time available. In addition, several students expressed concern that singing a traditionally Jewish song could be perceived as taking a side in the ongoing international conflict. The teacher engaged in dialogue with the students, which led to the teacher’s decision to remove these two songs from the concert program in early November. The District does not consider a song from any faith tradition to be inherently controversial.

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(132,186 posts)
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 04:26 AM
Dec 2023

My daughters, both who attended a Catholic elementary school in DC for 4 years, were asked by their teachers to explain Hanukkah to their classes. That was Holy Trinity.


(9,238 posts)
2. Tell me again how it's "Just criticizing Israel!" and not against Jews in general
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 04:36 AM
Dec 2023

I saw an article yesterday about menorah ceremonies being cancelled.

Nah, totally just Israel's government, you guys. People certainly aren't using this to have a steady go at Jews.

Maybe the people who keep sharing antisemitism definitions can give us the benefit of all that scholarly google research being done on the topic.

I see the "Just like the 1930s!" people are super quiet these days as well.

Weird, right?


(26,267 posts)
9. K-12....They can tell you to remove your tee shirt if they're afraid it will cause problems.
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 10:42 AM
Dec 2023

My husband was a principal...
Any activity that is gonna be perceived to cause problems, they can cancel.
For instance, if you show up in a Biden shirt, you will need to change it.
If they're afraid of anti-Semitic students or outside groups causing problems, then they can cancel activities.
Maybe there is a significant Muslim population at the school.

People just aren't getting along right now.


(62,029 posts)
10. So the school reverts to a Christian-only concert?
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 10:58 AM
Dec 2023

"People just aren't getting along" so we're going to have to revert to white Christian songs only. Never mind all that stuff the teachers and principals talk about - school spirit, our community, including everyone, being fair, standing up for what's right, not bullying, etc.

All that turns out to be optional because "somebody might complain" so sorry, we're going to have to run back to the 1950s.

Well, that's quite a lesson in courage for the kids. /sarcasm


(26,267 posts)
14. I don't know what songs are being sung.
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 11:16 AM
Dec 2023

Maybe there were threats.
Maybe the principal teacher is showing bad judgement .

Our kids Christmas concerts were Christmas songs (Two kids in middle school choir)

However, if Hanukah songs and Kwanzaa songs were also included, everyone would like it too.

That was 20 years ago. Maybe they have more diverse performances.
I can't imagine cancelling one song around here though if one was included.

My hunch is the teacher is showing bad judgement.
Decisions like this are usually not made by teachers.


(18,532 posts)
3. how about, not singing it being perceived as taking a side
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 04:52 AM
Dec 2023

they should do it how they would normally do it


(62,029 posts)
12. I taught my kids that every action is a choice.
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 11:03 AM
Dec 2023

Not getting up in the morning is a choice. Not speaking up against bullying is a choice.

Avoidance is a choice. Life is full of choices, many of them difficult. We're urged to do the right thing, because turning our heads and pretending we don't see is a choice.

A lot of people who consider themselves to be good, decent, even compassionate people are making lousy choices right now. It's not courageous to holler at Jewish restaurant owners or vandalize libraries. It's not courageous to cancel inclusivity because "somebody might get upset." It's a choice to promote antisemitism.


(15,286 posts)
5. Also removed a Kwanzaa song... What was the ginned up excuse for that one?
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 05:06 AM
Dec 2023

Besides not being the hegemon, as is the elephant in the room in both cases?


(50,706 posts)
6. But let me guess...
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 10:13 AM
Dec 2023

"The Little Drummer Boy," "Oh Holy Night" and "Come All Ye Faithful" are still on the bill.

I know! Let's sing The Kinks' "Father Christmas," although finding a drummer who can hold a single-stroke roll for thirty seconds might be a bit difficult.


(62,029 posts)
7. Yep! Found a way to remove all non-Christian songs from the concert.
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 10:16 AM
Dec 2023

Good job, progressives. /sarcasm.

Happy Hoosier

(7,610 posts)
8. But I thought criticizing Israel wasn't anti-Jewish!? NT
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 10:35 AM
Dec 2023

It doesn't have to be, of course, but these gonks keep conflating the two...


(62,029 posts)
13. It sounds like the organizers in Virginia - probably white Christian's - are making that equivalence.
Wed Dec 6, 2023, 11:06 AM
Dec 2023

The nice white progressives who organize the music and arts festival in Virginia are going to punish Jewish members of their community because they don't agree with what Israel is doing.

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