Saturday Brunch Topic: “A District in Crisis”; Monday: “He Named Me Malala” TV Premiere

Power of Ten Update

In this Issue:

1. AAUW Brunch This Saturday Feb 27
2. CUPON Rally Tuesday, March 8
3. HE NAMED ME MALALA Global Television Premiere
4. “The Roof is On Fire”

1) AAUW Brunch This Saturday Feb 27

The Rockland County Branch of the American Association of University Women, Inc. 17th Annual Diversity Brunch will feature a panel discussion:

East Ramapo: District in Crisis

The East Ramapo School District has failed its public school students and families. The New York State Dept. of Education is investigating the functioning of the School District to develop options for improvement in the schools for all students.

Speaker Panel: Weldon McWilliams IV, Willie Trotman, Suzanne Young-Mercer, Melissa Denizard, Steven White

Saturday, February 27, 2016
10:30 AM to 1:00 PM

St. Charles A.M.E. Zion Church
432 Valentine Ave.
Sparkill, NY

$25.00 Advance Donations/$30.00 Door Sales
Reserve Now – Limited Seating

Contact: Ann Mulligan @ 845-893-2821

2) CUPON Rally Tuesday, March 8

Date: March 8th, 2016
Time: 7:15 pm
Place: Town Hall parking lot, 237 Route 59, Suffern NY

CUPON was formed to hold planning and zoning boards accountable. They are calling all citizens to join in a demonstration to show dissatisfaction with the Town’s approval processes. Following the demonstration they will attend the Planning Board meeting to oppose a re-vote on approval of the Bluefield Extension. More info is available at

3) HE NAMED ME MALALA Global Television Premiere

Big news! On Monday, February 29 at 8:00 pm, HE NAMED ME MALALA, the inspirational documentary about Malala Yousafzai’s life and her fight for girls’ education, will premiere commercial-free on National Geographic Channel.

Bring the inspirational message of education activist Malala Yousafzai’s story and fight for girls’ education to your home. On February 29, 2016, tune into National Geographic Channel for the global broadcast premiere of HE NAMED ME MALALA, an inspirational documentary film from Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim.

Share your passion for girls’ education and invite friends and family over to watch the film. Sign up to host a watch party in your home or community.

4) “The Roof is On Fire”

It is unbearable.

As I walk the second floor hallways of Ramapo High School every day, I hold my breath and walk quickly to get to my destination. As I sit in classrooms, I avert my eyes from the numerous brown/black spots of mold. These spots are not only present in the upstairs halls and classrooms, but also in the downstairs ones as well. As I converse with friends, I hear of students who have become sick because of these conditions.

It is intolerable.

It is extremely difficult to learn in such conditions. A school is to provide safe working conditions for faculty and learning conditions for students every single day; however, that is not the case at Ramapo High School under these conditions. There are immigrant students who are trying to learn English but are unable to focus on breaking a language barrier because of the horrid odor and appearance of the school. There are students who lack motivation to even come to school every day, and those students are less motivated to attend school because of these conditions. As an AP student and Black Achievement Award recipient, I even find it difficult to learn in these predicaments.

It is insufferable.

We were told that Senator Carlucci secured 1 million dollars to fix the leaky roof; however, the ceilings need to be redone as well. We must not “hooray!” this event rather nod our heads in acceptance. Why would we greatly applaud a grant of 1 million dollars when just last year our district rejected a 40 million dollar bond for repairs? In the grand scheme of things, the work in our district to ensure the safety of every single student is far from being done and we must work together, as a unified district, to get not only the roof at Ramapo High School fixed but all repairs done in the district. We must advocate for safe conditions for our students every day, even if “the roof is on fire.”

 – Ellen Sue Cola

(The writer is a Senior at Ramapo HS)

Jewish WWII Veteran Earns Living Landmark Honor

The Power of Ten

Special Edition: East Ramapo Alum to Receive Living Landmark Award

David Lipman, Spring Valley HS class of 1939, will be honored by the Rockland County Historical Society as a “Living Landmark”. The Society will present the award at their annual dinner on Sunday, March 6, 2016, from 5-9 pm at The View on the Hudson, 101 Shad Row, Piermont NY.

Lipman served as a Corporal in WWII, earning a Bronze Star while doing dangerous missions and being tortured by the Nazis. He bears witness to Antisemitism he experienced personally in the US and the horror of Nazi Germany. He also bears witness to the incredible positive power of quality public education in his own life and in his community.

His story was told by Mark Judelson in “Our Town” newspaper: Decorated WWII Jewish Veteran Gives East Ramapo School Board Lesson in History and in Decency

On September 9, 2015 he attended a meeting of the East Ramapo school board, and delivered a powerful reproach to the board members. Here is a transcript of his speech:

My name is David Lipman, Spring Valley High School, Class of 1939, from the original location on South Main St. Like many of my classmates, I went on to college; I became a professional engineer. Others became doctors, lawyers, teachers, police officers, artists, musicians. One became an actor, with an engineering degree to fall back on. Why? Because we were well EDUCATED. We were given solid foundations in all subjects.

During WWII, we set aside our studies and our lives to go and fight for the freedom of other people. I came home with a Bronze Star and permanently damaged shoulders from the tender care of the Gestapo. One of my brothers, Walter, sacrificed himself in the Pacific Theater to save his air crew. There’s a local Jewish War Veteran’s post named after him, you can look him up. As part of my service I was present at Concentration Camp Dora. There, I saw horrible, unimaginable things; things that do not belong in this room with children.

Then I came home, finished college, raised my family and sent my children to SVHS. My son, Walter is Class of 1972, and my daughter Ruth, 1976. Again, the Lipman family was well served by their excellent public school education. Both my children are professionals, and have a love of learning and reading, with inquisitive minds. Many of their classmates are likewise.

Now, I see what has become of this once fine school system, and I am appalled. I see that the perpetrators of this are largely my own people; people who were the subject of those unspeakable horrors at Dora and places like Dora. Is this how you repay the community to which you came? Is this why the people of this community fought and died- so that 70 years later, you could grind under your heel their grandchildren, as well as the next group of downtrodden immigrants?

I seem to recall two principles from my religious education; one, that we are enjoined to make THE world a better place, not just OUR world; and two, that we were strangers once, enslaved in Egypt. The Torah tells us that we have an OBLIGATION to the stranger- the Gentile- at least three times: Exodus 22:21, Leviticus 19:34 and Deuteronomy 10:19. And yet, this is not what I see. Instead of honey, we have poured bitter herbs on the books of these children, if they have books at all! This defames the memory of both the people of this community who died fighting against the enslavement and horrors of the Holocaust, and those who were its victims. You who are its survivors have a great obligation which you are failing to uphold.

It will take far more than 11 days of repentance to expiate this sin.

Forum Thursday; Yeshiva Boys Deserve Better

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. Forum Thursday
2. Cupon Meeting Wednesday
3. Yeshiva Boys Deserve Better
4. Alan Singer for Board of Regents

1)  Forum Thursday

Its time to start thinking about the May school board and budget vote! Last year’s candidates have maintained a presence on social media to give this year’s candidates a head start. The purpose of the forum is to discuss the issues concerning the quality education in our district, and to give those who would like to run for school board in 2016 an opportunity to present themselves to the community. 

What: 2016 School Board Candidates Forum Follow-up
Where: Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, 110 Bethune Blvd, Spring Valley, NY 10977
When: Thursday February 11 at 7:00 PM

2) Cupon Meeting Feb 17

Reverend Weldon McWilliams IV, PHD, guest speaker.

Where: Hillcrest Firehouse, 300 North Main St, Hillcrest, NY
When: Wednesday February 17th at 7:00 PM

Note: Parking is available in the rear of the firehouse and across the street. Please do not park on the entry or exit ramps, or in front of the firehouse.

To learn more about Cupon:

3) Yeshiva Boys Deserve Better

In “Thousands of ill-educated yeshiva boys“, an Op-Ed in the NY Daily News, Naftuli Moster urges public outcry over the Education Department turning a blind eye to the lack of education in boys yeshivas.

Mr. Moster is also featured in a report by BRIC TV: Yeshiva Education in Brooklyn and One Student’s Departure, which includes an excellent analysis by David C. Bloomfield, an education policy expert. I highly recommend watching this news show in its entirety.

4) Alan Singer for Board of Regents

Alan Singer, a professor of teacher education at Hofstra University, has been a strong voice in advocating for state intervention in East Ramapo. He has been interviewed for a position on the NY State Board of Regents. To support his nomination, contact Steven McCutcheon, the State Assembly Program and Counsel Staff at


StrongER Needs You!

Power of Ten Update

In This Issue:

1. 2016 Candidates Forum Follow-up Feb 11
2. StrongER Needs You!
3. Children’s Legislative Forum Feb 5

1) 2016 Candidates Forum Follow-up Feb 11

Its time to start thinking about the May school board and budget vote! Last year’s candidates have maintained a presence on social media to give this year’s candidates a head start. The purpose of the forum is to discuss the issues concerning the quality education in our district, and to give those who would like to run for school board in 2016 an opportunity to present themselves to the community. 

What: 2016 School Board Candidates Forum Follow-up
Where: Martin Luther King Multi-Purpose Center, 110 Bethune Blvd, Spring Valley, NY 10977
When: Thursday February 11 at 7:00 PM

2) StrongER Needs You!

We need to reach all of the New York State Senators, and you can help:

Think of the people (friends, relatives, contacts) who live in New York State.  Send a message to them, pointing them to, where they can very easily support us by just clicking on the link for their Senator. 

Here is a sample note that you can send to your friends:

Dear Friends,

As you may know, there’s a big injustice happening in the East Ramapo School District. The board has slashed services to the public schools and diverted funding to the exclusive private schools where their own children attend. Two different studies and four different experts have come to the same conclusion: the state needs to appoint a monitor who can reverse the decisions of this board when they are not in the best interests of the public school students. We need to pass a statewide bill in the Legislature to make this local change possible.

I am volunteering to help address this issue, and  I ask you to take just one moment to visit, and send a message to your State Senator, indicating that you stand in solidarity with me and the children attending public school.

Thanks so much.

3) Children’s Legislative Forum Friday

Child Care Resources of Rockland, Inc., in conjunction with the Rockland Children’s Advocacy Network and its members, host a Children’s Legislative Forum every year to discuss how families, children, youth and the early care and education community are faring in Rockland County.

The Behavioral Health Challenges for Children Birth to Five Years in Rockland County
Friday, February 5, 2016
8:00 am-10:00 am | Breakfast: 7:30 am – Register now

Rockland Community College
Technology Center ● Ellipse Room
145 College Road ● Suffern, NY 10901

Please RSVP: 845.425.0009 x0 |