Schools have held steady
I write in my capacity as a parent and a school governor in the Jewish school network to thank all of our school staff wholeheartedly for all that they have done during the lockdown period.
This has been an unbelievably stressful and distressing time for teachers, particularly at the start of the lockdown, with constant uncertainty and changing parameters as schools received guidance in real time alongside the public.
As a parent, I have experienced nothing but warmth and caring from my child’s primary school teachers, as well as a consistent and easy to navigate framework of work to follow. The weekly phone calls have been lovely and the speed of reply to any email has also been extremely reassuring. The videos from school have been a highlight and the school has succeeded in maintaining a sense of community under the most trying of circumstances.
As a school governor, I’m in awe of the level of planning and logistical agility that has been taking place since the first day of lockdown. Much of this goes unseen, but the ‘behind the scenes’ planning and preparation has been enormous – particularly in the early days of lockdown, when many staff were undergoing extremely high levels of stress. Headteachers have held the ship steady in stormy waters.
As a teacher, I can testify to the shock that comes with the closure of your school. I can attest to how well our schools have performed in comparison with schools nationally.
The next challenge is around the corner as we spend the summer preparing for September.
Sara Levan, By email
Starmer has his work cut out to rid his party of antisemitism
Maxine Peake has previous when it comes to attacking Israel. She was prominent in the coterie of left-wing artistic players that accused Israel of delving into all sorts of matters to destabilise the world.
Only last year she arranged to star in a play that turned out to be
a hoax, cancelled at the last moment just to obtain greater emphasis and publicity for the cause in question, Palestinians in Gaza.
Ms Peake at least backtracked on her claim that Israel was linked to the murder of George Floyd, but not so Rebecca Long-Bailey who originally promoted this libel on Twitter.
Sir Keir Starmer has his work cut out to implement his stated aim of eradicating antisemitic and anti-Israel elements in his party.
Stephen Vishnick, Tel Aviv
Labour members show support
Now that Jeremy Corbyn is no longer leader, perhaps the Labour Party can express support for the Jewish community with a one-minute, silent, sit- down at party conference – by taking the toches.
Stanley Jacobs, Finchley
Masks aren’t compulsory
In response to Jamie Griver’s letter, “We can’t mask indifference”, I was not surprised to read about customers and staff of a bakery in Hendon, and other shops he visited, not wearing masks (Jewish News, 2 July 2020).
Face coverings are not compulsory for these groups of people, however desirable we may consider them. The males in question may not have been residents of Hendon. Even if they were, it is unfair to potentially besmirch the characters of all Hendon’s residents, by asking if they think “they’re somehow invincible?”
I gather, and do appreciate from his letter, that Mr Griver himself has been shielding for three months and very much hope that he is now enjoying going out and about and keeps himself as healthy as possible.
However, I feel that it iis mportant to state that we all must, in these toxic times for public discourse, be clear about which issues we refer to, and are accurate when putting forward our comments.
JD Milaric, By email
Setting the record straight
In her letter lamenting the suspension of parking bays in parts of Edgware’s town centre, Elaine Mann of Louis Mann Butchers, said she telephoned me and that I “appeared to be unaware of the current situation” (Jewish News, 2 July 2020).
This is incorrect. I have had no form of contact whatsoever with Miss Mann.
All councillors in areas of Barnet where suspensions have been introduced were initially consulted by appropriate committee chairmen and council officers.
Since the rationale is health and safety and the increase of social distancing space to combat the spread of coronavirus, councillors have given their guarded approval.
The installation of bollards to widen pavements is, by its very nature, a temporary measure, to be reviewed and relaxed as soon as the virus recedes further.
Councillor Brian Gordon, Edgware Ward, London Borough of Barnet