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For Immediate Release: Contact:
Monday, February 26, 1992 Corey Bearak
(718) 343-6779


Monday, February 26, 1992

Constance Cooke
Executive Director
Queens Borough Public Library
89-11 Merrick Boulevard
Jamaica, NY 11432

Dear Connie:

I write concerning the unfortunate scheduling of a program, including a discussion concerning Jews, on the Jewish Sabbath, at the Bayside Branch. The Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council (NEQJCC) appreciates the decision to schedule the program, "Blacks and Jews: Are They Sworn Enemies?," at a second time which does not conflict with the Sabbath. This occurred after calls from the NEQJCC and others concerned about the scheduling of the original program, which was not canceled, in conflict with a time or religious observance for many borough residents who are subjects of the documentary and the follow-up discussion.

While one should be sensitive to the need to choose a time convenient to the participating high school students who had to travel from Bayside to Brooklyn, apparently no one considered the need to similarly choose a time not in conflict with religious observances of local residents, including many patrons of the Bayside branch.

If no one connected with the Queens Borough Public Library is sufficiently knowledgeable about Jewish religious practices and observances, you should feel free to contact the NEQJCC or the Queens Jewish Community Council , with which our organization is affiliated, to discern whether specific times for programs, such as the one arranged at the Bayside Branch, may pose a scheduling conflict.

The NEQJCC would also appreciate it if Library personnel were made aware of the need to be sensitive to the religious and cultural observance of all of the many different ethnic groups which make up our borough. Apparently, the scheduling of the first showing of this program on the Jewish Sabbath indicates that some library personnel were not aware that it would pose a problem.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your reply.

Corey B. Bearak
Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council



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