Tools for Elul: Shirley Shratter
My late husband and I had worked in the Pittsburgh School system for many years. We had master's degrees but never could get a promotion. There were many other Jewish teachers in the same position, so we decided to establish an organization called SPUR - School Personnel United for Reform.
There were a number of Jewish organizations who were critical of us. A wealthy Jewish woman who was on the board feared the taxes would go up. A rabbi in our synagogue at the time was very angry at us. I never did understand why.
We persevered for about four months and achieved success. Of course, my husband had to wait 15 years before he became a guidance counselor. I never had a promotion even though I had in 1980 become the first elementary teacher to be nominated for Teacher of the Year in Pittsburgh.
The Harrisburg Department of Education asked me if they could use some of my ideas in their magazine. I agreed.
I think this is a good example of "If Not Now, When?"
-Shirley Shratter, Congregant