Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cranky Complaints-Lady Jumps Through Hoops for Gymnastics…

image My father used to sit and mutter “antisemitten” under his breath when somebody did something he didn’t like… and I’d think it was silly.  Of course the whole world aren’t antisemites.  Right???

So why does this city think it’s cool to single out the one group who has a Sabbath on which they don’t use the Internet or telephone?  Do Muslims use the phone on Fridays?  Do Christians use the phone on Sunday?  I think, for the most part, yes.  You’d think that then, as a lowest common denominator, especially in areas with a lot of Jewish families, they wouldn’t hold registration on a Saturday for Parks & Rec classes.

You’d be wrong… sigh…

If you’re Jewish and you live in Toronto, or you’re willing to fake either one, feel free to let your councillor know just how dumb and demeaning this is, to completely cut an entire ethnic group out of the citywide registration process.  Two city councillor email addresses are included below, in case one happens to be yours.

----- Original Message -----

Cc: "Joe Mihevc" <councillor_mihevc@toronto.ca>; "Councillor Pasternak" <councillor_pasternak@toronto.ca>

Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 11:57 PM

Subject: Jewish Families Registering for December 3rd

> Once again, I'm wondering what
> provision has been made to assist Jewish families who need to register for
> programs on December 3rd (a Saturday, when we don't use the phone or
> Internet).
>
> The "system" we have relied on for previous Saturday registration dates was
> to beg for attention (via email and phone calls) and hope somebody would be
> able to put our names into the programs we need on the day of registration.
> I find this method even more stressful than actually sitting on the phone or
> going online on the morning of registration.
>
> (On average, it takes about 35-45 minutes to get through by phone or online,
> but at least I know I WILL get through eventually, whereas when I'm given a
> verbal agreement to "try" to register my kids, there is never any
> guarantee - I always wonder what would happen if the contact person who
> casually said she'd "try" happened to be home sick that day, for instance.)
>
> As I've said before, as Welcome Policy recipients (when there is funding,
> which there isn't right now), we have nowhere else to turn if we want our
> children to participate in recreation programs, which is why I'm back, once
> again begging for help in registering my kids in programs for the coming
> winter.
>
> At the moment, I have a list (with alternates) of 2 camps, 3 recreational
> programs and 2 swim programs, and I'm wondering how to get my kids enrolled
> in them as efficiently as possible.  Since I'm hoping to register one child
> in two recreational programs, I can provide credit card information in
> advance to pay for the extra program.
>
> On an ongoing basis, since registration seems to have been permanently moved
> to Saturday, I believe the process should be formalized to allow us and any
> other Jewish families in Toronto (surely there are others!) to register with
> dignity, and without this terrible uncertainty every time program
> registration rolls around.
>
> I have cc'd Councillor Mihevc, as we live in his area, and Councillor
> Pasternak, who happens to live in another area with a large Jewish
> demographic.
>
> Thanks very much!
>
> {lovey-wuvs and huggie-bugs from moi, of course!}

And yes, okay, I realize that not every Jew keeps Shabbos.  So are they really completely cutting an entire ethnic group out of the process?  I think that’s like saying many of your best friends are Jewish, and that you especially like Jews as long as they don’t practice any of their distinctive religious customs – or don’t mind suspending a thousands-of-years-old promise to God to sign up for a gym class. 

As long as you are claiming to be open and tolerant to people of all races and faiths, you can’t very well turn around and say “Jews welcome, as long as they’re not TOO…” (whatever-it-is-they-happen-to-be…)

So there.

4 comments:

  1. What would happen if you showed up on Friday at noon with a registration form and a check?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Um, in a big scary anonymous city of 2.5 million people??? (half a million more than Houston)
    hmm...
    I'd be laughed at? Booted out the door?

    To their credit, they got back to me and said basically the same thing... fill out the form and they'll process it "along with other drop off requests starting at 7 am on December 3rd."

    I still don't think this is a good system because I have no control. The phone-call or Internet-access system is inhumane and stupid (getting up at 7 am to dial or hit refresh for half an hour before getting through!), but at least I'm in charge. If I oversleep, I blew it all on my ownsome.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm with you. We're not shomer shabbat, but I don't transact what most people would recognize as "business" on shabbat - no registering for stuff or paying for consumer goods.

    Are they at least processing the drop-off requests in order of arrival?

    ReplyDelete
  4. That would be nice, wouldn't it? But... in order of arrival WHERE? With 16 registration locations all over the city, and four "districts" in which registration is taking place simultaneously, I don't believe there is a central spot where advance registrations go, especially because, officially, there is no such thing.

    ReplyDelete

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