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‘Business-class lounge’ joke in extremely bad taste

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I refer to your “Business-class lounges open at King David” article published on 6 March 2020, and formally lodge an unreserved letter of contempt. In your highly un-funny Purim joke, you have managed to portray King David students as uniformly precocious, monied, entitled, and lazy. You have insinuated that they are drug and alcohol users, that they are narcissistic, shallow, and promiscuous, and that somehow, the school not only condones but encourages and facilitates this behaviour.
by Dr Tali Frankel, Johannesburg | Mar 12, 2020

As a proud King David parent, I can’t be more disgusted by this scurrilous and unfounded caricature of our children, their teachers, and the institution in which we have chosen to educate them. While any or all of those descriptors may be true of some teens anywhere in the world, by laying these accusations exclusively at King David’s door, you have committed slander and defamation. If your mention of “Zev Lupo” is somehow a veiled reference to Rav Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik of blessed memory, then this ironic farce is even more shameful as you have deliberately associated one of the greatest rabbinic figures and halachic authorities of his generation with behaviour that most decent people would find reprehensible.

In a world torn apart by baseless hatred, jealousy, and divisiveness, your article does nothing but serve the cause of division in a community desperately in need of unity. King David schools – and the Linksfield campus in particular of which we are a part – is a place that encourages excellence, community outreach, sensitivity, and service not just towards the Jewish community, but the greater Johannesburg area in which we reside. It upholds standards of morality, and utterly condemns behaviour that doesn’t bring honour and integrity to the school.

Your crime is further compounded by the cowardice of having your chairperson hide his real identity behind a perceived clever Purim nom de plume. Behind this mask is a spinelessness and vindictiveness that’s offensive. I suppose everyone is entitled to their private joke no matter the extent of their tastelessness, but then that’s what they should stay – private.

You owe the South African Board of Jewish Education, King David schools, their principals, teachers, pupils and parents a complete retraction and unreserved apology. 

1 Comment

  1. 1 Craig 16 Mar
    What a joke must have hit a nerve with this woman,seriously can people not see this was a joke..... funny how only the sensitive take offence , anyone finding this not funny and offensive clearly need to get a life 

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