New UTT library opens

12.07.04

The library at UTT St-Laurent, which was firebombed last April, finally reopened today after being completely rebuilt thanks to an outpouring of donations and support:

Sympathy messages and donations of $400,000 in cash and thousands books poured in from across Canada and around the world following news of the arson at the private school last April.

“Unlike (with) many of our students’ grandparents who went through the Holocaust, this time the world reached out to us and helped all of us heal,” said Rachel Cohen, president of United Talmud Torahs.

“It was very reassuring and the impact of this outreach will positively affect students all their lives.”

This is of course great news for the library. (I wonder whether they’ll be able to put some funds into renovations for the rest of the building, which during my high school years was in a pretty sorry state of disrepair and had a constant smell of rotten fish. The elementary side wasn’t much better, though the high school did have a more modern library. But anyway…)

Symbolically this was an important day. And I’m glad to see that things are back up and running like normal. Now when a teacher assigns homework that involves the library, the students will have to think of another excuse of why they couldn’t get it done.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daninvan 12.08.04 at 7:51 AM

Damn dog is STILL eating homework.

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2 Josh 12.08.04 at 8:49 PM

all’s well that end’s well?

a spanking new enlarged library, a distant memory of something bad, and the new eternal fixture of Israeli-style bag-checker security guard at the door while you live in the land of the free.

It’s nice to live in Canada.

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3 segacs 12.10.04 at 6:21 AM

Josh, if you mean that the issue is getting swept under the carpet, I see your point. We shouldn’t pretend that the problem is solved thanks to some new books and carpeting.

But that’s what the courts are for. We live in a civilized society. The alleged perpetrators of this crime have a right to a fair trial, and hopefully will be appropriately punished if found guilty. We can’t lapse into the chaos that would come from our desire for revenge.

My cynicism comes not from the notion that all’s well that ends well, but more from my knowledge of that particular school and the attitude of many of the students. They’re not stupid – they know this issue can be milked for a while, encouraging teachers to talk about hate crimes in class rather than teaching grammar or literature. It’s the same way we knew that our fifth-grade Hebrew teacher could spend hours talking about her time in the Israeli army, so whenever we didn’t feel like studying, we’d ask her questions about it. Kids ain’t stupid, ya know… they’re good at wasting class time 🙂

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