Readers Write My reasons for supporting Rebecca Sassouni’s re-election

Readers Write My reasons for supporting Rebecca Sassouni’s re-election

The way I see it, the Great Neck community is quite lucky that Rebecca Sassouni even wants to serve on the Great Neck Board of Education. And yes, I am writing to urge you that you vote for her on May 16, 2023.

See, I think we, the voting public, should choose our public servants, who volunteer their time, wisely.  We need to encourage the qualified and dedicated ones.  That is how we can encourage more of those well-educated ones who have public service in their blood to decide that they want to donate their precious time to the thankless job of public service—especially in these crazy times.

In my personal experience of knowing (and serving along with her) throughout the past 25 years, Rebecca Sassouni well fits that coveted mold.

For one thing, Rebecca has the distinction of serving as school board president during much of the unprecedented pandemic. I, for one, think anyone who volunteered to serve in that role in any community in the country deserves a medal.

Folks in that role had to make countless snap decisions (many of which were governed by numerous mandates from the state and federal government) holding the lives of the community’s children in their hands.  That is the unfair burden that we placed on their shoulders when we elected them.

Now you or I might disagree with one or several decisions that any of these school boards around the country made about this or that.  But that is not the point.

While most of us were in hibernation in the safety of our living rooms during the shutdown, Rebecca showed up and gave of herself to do what she thought was the best for the children.

And that would be enough to deserve our gratitude and our vote.  Before and after the pandemic, the Great Neck School district remains the envy of communities around the state and nation.

And, if we don’t credit, the school board president, for at least some of the reason for that distinction, we are being unfair to ourselves and to her.

Note that the pandemic experience is not the only reason I think that Great Neck is lucky to have Rebecca on the school board.  Rebecca is well-educated and has served on more community organizations than I care to count.

As I alluded to, she has public service in her blood. She is also one of the fiercest advocates that I have ever met in community life.  And if you want someone who will advocate for your children’s best interest as a student, you would be hard-pressed to find someone better than Rebecca Sassouni.

Except that you are lucky to have already found her.  So good for you and us—why would you ever consider letting her walk away.  (That would be our loss, not hers).

Finally, given that we seem to live in times, when folks seem to judge elected officials through the lens of their tribe’s identity politics, I am here to report that I have witnessed Rebecca working well with all manners of ethnic groups in Great Neck from making sure that the Mashadi community was included in a presentation she was giving about Great Neck’s history to including the Great Neck Chinese Association in SHAI’s education programs (she has served as president of the Sephardic Heritage Alliance Inc.).

Personally, I shudder when I consider the frightening prospect that, under different circumstances, I might have found myself serving in a position like a school board that Rebecca has done (so admirably) during such troubled and divisive times.

I would not want to put up with everything that goes along with such a position these days.  But I am sure glad that Rebecca Sassouni is.  Let’s show our appreciation by voting for her on May 16.

Raymond Iryami

Great Neck

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