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Utah Jazz rookie calls Jewish fan to apologize for Twitter blunder

07/20/2020 05:41:24 PM

Jul20

Kyle Harvey

 

SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — Jill Spector is Jewish and a Jazz fan.

So when Jazz rookie guard Justin Wright-Foreman retweeted a message of support Wednesday for TV entertainer Nick Cannon after Cannon was fired for anti-Semitic comments, she just couldn’t let it go.

She tapped out a message to the rising star on his Facebook page.

“I told him how much it really hurt as a Utahn and as a Jew,” she said. “I didn’t necessarily expect a response, to be honest.”

But a day later, she got one. Wright-Foreman called her on the Facebook Messenger app.

“Which caught me very much off guard so I took the phone call and we spoke for about 15-20 minutes just about how apologetic he was,” she said.

By the end of 20 minutes, Spector was ready to forgive.

“I think in today’s day in age, people are very quick to say this person needs to be gone, this person needs to be fired and I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it,” she said.

He was contrite, Spector said. And wanted to educate himself about the Jewish culture.

Unbeknownst to Wright-Foreman, Spector’s husband, Sam, is the rabbi for Utah’s largest Jewish synagogue, Kol Ami.

“It’s human to make mistakes, but that’s what people do,” Sam Spector said.

The rabbi says he was impressed that Wright-Foreman would call his wife. There was no sure-fire PR splash in making a private apology to a complete stranger.

“That says a lot about his character,” he said.

The Spectors say Wright-Foreman intends to visit Kol Ami and play basketball with the kids. Their congregation will welcome him with open arms.

“It went from a story where Jewish people were kind of hurt, to saying this is a great guy who wants to understand our community better,” Sam Spector said.

See the video here

Utah Jazz guard apologizes for retweeting message supporting anti-semitism

07/20/2020 05:38:29 PM

Jul20

Ryan Miller

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz reserve guard Justin Wright-Foreman apologized for retweeting a message that was in support of Nick Cannon’s anti-Semitism comments.

In a video call with media on Friday, Wright-Foreman said he wasn’t fully educated on the topic and that he didn’t mean to offend anyone.

Wright-Foreman had retweeted a message that stated, "Nick Cannon said nothing wrong. Everyone just sensitive and hates the truth."

Rabbi Sam Spector of Congregation Kol Ami in Salt Lake City even offered an invitation for Wright-Foreman to have a conversation with Jewish leaders to become educated on the topic.

“As a child, professional athletes were my heroes, models and exemplars. I can only imagine the pain I’d feel if one of the people I admired so greatly retweeted something that made me feel badly about myself for being Jewish,” said Rabbi Spector in a social media post. “Also as an impressionable kid, I wonder if hearing an athlete on my favorite team say something hateful would make me prejudiced against that group. Sadly, I think many of our religious school students who are huge Jazz fans will learn a painful lesson about anti-Semitism from this incident.”

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A rural commissioner called Gov. Gary Herbert a Nazi for approving a face mask mandate in urban areas

06/26/2020 02:06:23 PM

Jun26

Scott D. Pierce

A Piute County commissioner compared Utah’s governor to Nazis, suggesting that Utahns will soon be required to offer a “Heil Herbert” salute.

“Hang on friends, it won’t be long before you are required to do a Sieg Heil Salute to Herbert,” tweeted Darin Bushman in response to news that Gov. Gary Herbert approved a mask mandate in Salt Lake and Summit counties that’s set to take effect Saturday. “Welcome to Utah now extend your right arm straight at 45 degrees keeping your hand parallel to your arm and offer your ‘Heil Herbert.’”

Rabbi Sam Spector of Salt Lake City’s Congregation Kol Ami invited Bushman to “come discuss his tweet with me.”

“Taking measures to protect civilians from a pandemic and save lives is not equivalent to Nazism in the least bit,” Spector said, “and we need to educate our public officials.”

Bushman has not replied to Spector’s invitation.

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Faith Leaders Across State Encourage Utahns To Wear Face Coverings

06/26/2020 02:03:24 PM

Jun26

Gretchen Willard

In a news conference Wednesday, Governor Gary Herbert quoted a letter from a group of interfaith leaders in Utah. The faith leaders are encouraging Utahns to wear face coverings to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

See the full statement.

Powerful lessons Utah faith leaders have learned from their fathers

06/18/2020 07:06:48 PM

Jun18

Trent Toone

The best advice Rabbi Samuel L. Spector, of Congregation Kol Ami, ever received from his father came after a pretty girl broke his 17-year-old heart for the first time.

“One day she decided kind of out of the blue, ‘Oh, I don’t like this guy any more, I’m done with him,’” the rabbi said. “I was devastated.”

Feeling his son’s pain, Rabbi Spector’s father, Gary Spector, a successful pediatrician in Seattle, told his son that far too many of his male patients get dumped by a girlfriend, become depressed and lose their direction in life. Then came the lesson.

“If you do something like that,” his father said, “all you are doing is showing that person that she was right not to be with you because you threw your life away for her. The best way to respond to someone who has hurt you in life is to go on, be happy and be successful. Make something of yourself.”

That advice has always stayed with Rabbi Spector.

“Every time I’ve had to face adversity, a setback or somebody didn’t give me a chance, I’ve always pushed myself to overcome, to make something of myself, to be a happy and successful person,” he said. “Instead of people looking back and saying something like, ‘I’m glad I didn’t hire him,’ I want people to look back on me and say, ‘Wow, that guy really turned out to do some amazing things. Maybe I was too quick to judge.’”

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Tue, August 4 2020 14 Av 5780