Mayor Rahm Emmanuel on March 2 2011, photo courtesy of Daniel X O'Niel (Flickr)
Justice, Religion

Rosh Hashana petition to Rahm Emmanuel: Save Dyett High School

This news bulletin is from our friends at Tzedek Chicago, the new Jewish community established by former Jewschooler Rabbi Brant Rosen: yesterday they delivered over 200 signatures to Mayor Rahm Emmanuel in support of the Dyett hunger strikers. The school board announced sweeping changes to the only high school in Bronzeville, upsetting alumni and community members.

Chicago, IL – On the 30th day of the Dyett Hunger strike, members of the Jewish community will deliver a letter with more than 200 signatures from the Chicago Jewish Community. The letter calls for Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to implement the demands of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School.

The delivery of this letter coincides with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year and beginning of the holiest period on the Jewish Calendar. “These holy days are our community’s opportunity to practice t’shuva, or repentance,” said Rabbi Brant Rosen of Tzedek Chicago. “Today, we call on Rahm Emmanuel to begin his new year by repenting for his callous approach to the hunger strikers and thousands of CPS parents and students.”

The demands of the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School include: green technology and global leadership in the Dyett curriculum; preservation of the name Walter Dyett; at least six seats on the school design team; community selection of the principal; and a community school open until 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. daily with programs serving the community.

The letter’s signers include rabbis and congregants from across Chicago. Many of the Jewish protestors came from a Tzedek Chicago Rosh Hashanah observance. Tzedek Chicago is new Jewish community rooting Judaism in social justice values.

“We are united in recognizing that our Jewish values compel us to take a stand with the coalition,” said Tzedek Chicago member Kelly Viselman. “Judaism teaches that the imperative to save a life supercedes almost every other commandment. Our city’s leadership cannot allow people who have gone a month without food to hang in the balance. We demand that they meet with them in good faith and come to a mutually agreed decision on Dyett.”

September 15th is also the day that CPS decided to push back a hearing on Dyett High School. This rescheduling prompted this hunger strike to begin 30 days ago.

The Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School:

Tzedek Chicago:


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