Moriah College, my op-ed and Mrs Siderowitz

Picture 1I just received my high school’s alumni newsletter and apparently, an op-ed I wrote in the Washington Post’s On Faith column on June 13 (which just happens to be my birthday) found it’s way back to my school in Australia. It was an article in response to the Holocaust Museum killing in Washington DC. It was reprinted from the Washington Post by my journalist friend Lisa Alcalay Klug on her site Tolerant Nation and you can read it here:

Since I wrote the piece, two things have changed. The first is, as a result of that op-ed I found out that the woman I was writing about – a teacher at my school (which was also our pre-school, kindergarten, primary (American translation – elementary) and high school –  is no longer alive. I was saddened to hear it.

Secondly, the company I was working for at the time  and whom I mention in the article was an online comparative religion Web site and I was excited to be working for such an organization. Unfortunately that job lasted only two months as they failed to pay us. I still haven’t received a dime from them – hence my dire financial circumstances at this time.

However, more importantly, I’m so thrilled that my school – Moriah College (full name Mount Moriah War Memorial College) – managed to somehow come across my article and put it in our alumni newsletter.

Here’s what the Moriah Newsletter had to say:

KELLY HARTOG (1982) REMINISCES ABOUT MORIAH DAYS
A very beautiful article has been forwarded to us written by ex collegian Kelly Hartog (Class of 1982) where she writes her memories at Moriah and of Mrs Siderowitz (Z’L) after hearing of a shooting incident at a Holocaust museum in the USA. It is a really beautiful read for those wanting to reminisce.

And this was followed by a note about a tribute to Mrs Siderowitz from the alumni association. I’m not going to make it back to Sydney, Australia for the tribute, but I will be there in spirit.

TRIBUTE TO ALIZA SIDEROWITZ (Z’L)
We all remember Mrs Siderowitz who taught us Yiddish and Hebrew at Moriah as well as being the Yiddish voice on radio 2EA for so many years. We have been invited to attend a tribute to celebrate Aliza’s amazing life, her love of Yiddish and Hebrew literature and poetry, her spirit and her many contributions to Jewish culture and continuity. This weill be held on Sunday 25th October 2-5pm at B’nai Brith 22 Yurong St East Sydney. For more details on how you can contribute to this special afternoon – please see the news section of our website.

My article is an op-ed about tolerance, compassion and understanding and our school’s motto was “To Learn, To Heed, To Act.” I’d like to think that all these decades later, this op-ed in honour of the great Aliza Siderowitz came about because of the lessons learned at Moriah College when I was just a little girl.

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