The Burning Joint

The satirical Shalhevet paper (taking off on Shalhevet’s official student paper The Boiling Point) can be found here (by invitation only) and here (for general viewing):

Entering Shalhevet as freshmen, we were told about the nu­merous student committees and organizations that sup­ported the overall develop­ment of our school as a free and just community. Not least of these was The Boil­ing Point, which, we were advised, was the school’s student-run newspaper. Sadly, as it turns out, The Boiling Point is anything but student-run; indeed, what is supposed to be the students’ voice has been hijacked by the school’s administra­tion. In the process, the role of the press in Shalhevet’s struggling “democracy” has been eviscerated. Fur­thermore, what should be a stimulating publication has been turned into uninspir­ing rubbish. Indeed, the stifling of our viewpoints in what was established as our publication is what necessitated the creation of The Burning Joint – Shal­hevet’s only student-run newspaper and truly “The Voice of the People.”

To be sure, we recognize that there is go­ing to be, and indeed that there should be review and editing (yes…this is “cen­sorship”) of Shalhevet’s school-sanctioned student newspaper. Moreover, this censorship is not nec­essarily at odds with the school’s founding princi­ples…However, if The Boiling Point is truly to be a student-run newspa­per, then the non-student participation needs to stop right at that point.

You can buy Shali condoms here (advertised as 50% effective 100% of the time).

The Burning Joint is a far better newspaper than The Boiling Point (which has always put me to sleep). It’s better laid out (in color!) and better written. It kept me up past my bedtime, something previously that only levitra could do.

From page three:

Until four years ago ([Sam] Gomberg’s first year as principal), students actually did have power within the school. But since the graduating class of 2007 entered Shalhevet, not a single resolution has been passed that the administration has not mutilated.

…The administration believes that if the students simplly talk about problems in the setting of Town Hall, they will undergo moral development.

…When Lea Kassebaum stood up to say that maybe Town Hall needs to be reworked in order to keep the students interested, she was shut down and humiliated.

The cafeteria caterer gets creamed.

The paper rips Shalhevet’s Judaica program (but praises Rabbi David Rue).

The paper says cheating and drug use are rampant. It claims that 40% of the school is sexually active (20% of the Orthodox sutdents and 87.5% of the Conservatives).

It says that this year’s 10th graders discovered beer on their trip to Israel and "puff the magic dragon" and a "transsexual jazz bar in the heart of Jerusalem. The tenth grade students were exposed to homoeroticism, partial nudity and profanity."

On page 18, the paper says Jerry Friedman has surrounded himself with a freeloading entourage who like to ride in his jag.

On page 13, there’s a call for Rabbi Wolpe to teach the Exodus story.

On page nine, there’s this:

Yo Strong Jew,

I’m not a very observant Jew, but I know that a Rabbi cannot touch other girls if he’s married. And yet I regularly see a certain fat, ugly Rabbi touching, stroking, and patting his female students. He also constantly compliments them about their physical appearance and loves to make sexual innuendos, which I personally find repulsive, hypocritical, and frankly, evil. Should I tell someone? Does anyone else notice? What should I do, Strong Jew?

RESPONSE: I can see that your concerns are of a very serious nature, thus I shall respond to you similarly. Yes, it is true that this ugly fatass has been violating his own faith’s explicit prohibitions. But, most disturbing of which, is the very baseness of his actions, for they mmerit not only religious, but moral and legal reproach. If you are reading this right now you ugly fat idiot, then I hope you know that there are people out there who know what you’ve been doing. I hope that as you read these words, your head spins, you start sweating, and even rip this page apart. Because you know, as well as others, that you are a degradable asshole lower than dirt itself. Despite the numerous denials you will surely voice, you’ll know, in the bottom of your black little heart, that you’re a guilty son-of-a-bitch. This alone should shame you enough. I hope you know that you’ll never be able to show your face every again without some little girl looking back in disgust and fear. Just leave — for your own good. Leave.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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