PARAMUS, N.J. — The rabbi and principal of a Paramus Jewish school that made headlines Wednesday morning for a controversial letter campaign is saying that the information in the story was leaked from a Facebook group and is "full of lies."
On Wednesday morning, Haaretz.com published a story saying that Frisch School officials urged students to send letters of praise to U.S. President Donald Trump regarding his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv.
"That is simply not true," Rabbi Eli Ciner told Daily Voice. "The school did not encourage, push or suggest the kids write a letter. We are apolitical."
The school's AISAC club (the American Israel Student Action Committee) had a letter-writing campaign thanking the president, the rabbi said.
A reporter from Haaretz.com was part of a private Facebook forum, where five parents were complaining about the campaign, Ciner told Daily Voice.
The rabbi said the reporter leaked the information without the parents' consent. Three of the five parents went directly to the rabbi, who told Daily Voice he apologized and sent subsequent emails to the students and parents clarifying the club's campaign.
"I made it very clear to students that this is voluntary by no means should they do it if it's not what they believe," he said.
"We often write to elected officials as American citizens if we agree or disagree with something they did -- that's part of the democratic process."
Ciner said if he could go back, he would have handled it differently "to ensure that the club's actions were clearly understood."
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