I just read your front-page article in the Dec. 24 edition of the Cleveland Jewish News, “OSU investigating professor’s ‘Jewing down’ comment.” Antisemitism is a major problem in this great country and it must be fought with all the means available to our Jewish community. However, in that fight, do not trivialize it by attacking everything that sounds antisemitic, because after a while, your fight will no longer be taken seriously.

The use of the phrase “Jewing down” is not necessarily antisemitic every time it is heard. Before retiring and moving to the Columbus area more than 20 years ago, I lived in Huntsville, Ala., for

31 years. That phrase is in common use in the deep south, even in such a high-tech, cosmopolitan city as Huntsville. If a friend used that phrase in a conversation with me, I would explain how such a phrase is hurtful and they would then tell me they didn’t realize it was a problem and would stop using it. Problem solved.

So, my advice to our Jewish community is to choose your battles. Talk with professor (Jackie) Buell (who is accused of using the phrase). If she did not think that she was being antisemitic, consider it to be a learning experience for both her and our community.

Per your article, OSU Chabad’s Sarah Deitsch seems to understand and is handling this situation correctly. It should never have been such a major, lead article in your fine paper.

Ellery Block

Westerville, Ohio

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