Fall 2006


Fall is in the air, and we are off to a fast start as are all of you in schools throughout the US and abroad. Best wishes for a productive and good school year!

Technology is advancing so rapidly, and is making it even easier for me to reach out to new audiences. For example, in March, I participated in a live video conference withRead & Rap Students in Bettendorf, Iowa. 

And just this past week, on Monday, September 11, through OPAL and the Bensenville Illinois Public Library (in the person of Bill Erbes) I participated in a live webcast commemorating the 9/11 tragedy by recalling another man-made evil event, the Holocaust. This program was heard by students and adults in 28 states and 5 countries.

A highlight at the end of the webcast was the singing of the Four Perfect Pebbles song, composed and written by John Holt of Pittsburgh, and sung by Amanda Ceaser, a senior at Fenton High School in Bensenville, Illinois. Although somewhat apprehensive prior to both new venues, all went well, with good feedback. To the many of you who participated in this event, thank you!

For those of you who were unable to register for the Libraries Remember webcast, or for some reason could not enter the virtual auditorium, you can view the hour long program which was archived by going to OPAL 

In September, we will be in Kansas, in October, Illinois, in November, Holland (at Kamp Westerbork for the commemoration of Kristallnach which took place in Germany on November 9, 1938), and then to North & South Carolina. In December, we will be in Florida. 

A full and more detailed schedule of presentations is listed on the web site under “ Marion Speaks.“

Those of us of the Jewish faith will soon be celebraing Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. For us , the period leading up to Rosh Hashanah is one filled with introspection – how we led our lives this past year – and how we intend and should attempt to lead an even more positive one in the coming year. 

For me, respect for, and tolerance of, one another, regardless of religious belief, skin color, or national origin, is something that should be at the top of everyone’s list. These simple words are the basis for peace in the world.Had there been respect and tolerance, there would not have been a Holocaust, no 9/11, and none of the uncountable number of other man-induced evil atrocities that have taken place throughout history right up to this very day.

People often ask me how I can have that positive attitude after what I went through. Others want to know how they and others can develop that attitude. Unfortunately, I have never had a clear-cut “prescription” for doing so.

Although we never gave them an instruction manual, we take great pride in the fact that our own children have internalized this message of tolerance and respect. It could very well be the reason that Michael, our youngest, has recently joined The Arbinger Institute, an international research and consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations eliminate the underlying cause of interpersonal conflict.

Michael recently gave Nathaniel and me a copy of Arbinger’s new book, The Anatomy of Peace. Having read it, I think that I can now point to an answer for those seeking a way to develop a mentality of tolerance and respect towards others.

Through a simple and engaging story, The Anatomy of Peace uncovers the fundamental source of all conflicts and, most surprisingly, demonstrates how the parties to just about every conflict unknowingly do things to perpetuate and exacerbate those conflicts. The book then demonstrates a simple, but enormously powerful strategy for breaking this pattern, solving our conflicts, and fundamentally changing the way in which we relate to others. I highly recommend it.

With all the above said, Nathaniel joins me in wishing you and yours a New Year filled with good health, much happiness, and true peace.