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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 21, 2011 / 18 Nissan, 5771

Caring Enough to Broadcast the Very Best

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Growing up, "Hallmark Hall of Fame" represented the gold standard of what we would call today "family values" television, except that TV then rarely carried anything threatening to those values. Today, Hallmark's commitment to quality television hasn't change; it even has its own cable channel, which shows films that affirm the values most of us hold dear.

This Easter Sunday, CBS will mark the 60th anniversary of the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" with a film called "Beyond the Blackboard." It's one of those "based on a true story" projects about a young woman (Stacey Bess) who desperately wants to teach, but finds there are no jobs available in her Salt Lake City school district. There is, however, an experimental program and Bess (played by Emily VanCamp), eagerly accepts the job. There's a problem, though. She is to teach homeless children in a rundown warehouse.

Stacey shows up for her first day of work wearing pumps and carrying a leather briefcase and gets a fast reality check.

Based on Bess' memoir, "Nobody Don't Love Nobody," the film could easily veer off into a political diatribe and a call for more government spending on education. It is a tribute to the restraint of the creators that it does not. What it does depict is the power of one person to make a difference in other people's lives, not with government funds, but with the currency of a loving and dedicated heart.

This storyline originally put me off. It is drenched in estrogen and Stacey's husband Greg, played by Steve Talley, seems largely passive, even irrelevant, except that he keeps getting her pregnant. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that "wholesome TV" takes some getting used to. The mind must purge itself of the sexual and the tawdry to make room for the good.

In an interview on the "Blackboard" set in Albuquerque, the real Stacey Bess recalls her first day with the homeless children: "The gentleman who greeted me at the shelter looked me up and down and all his body language was saying, 'You don't belong here. This isn't gonna work out.' And the truth is, the chance of my surviving at the beginning were just about nil. I mean, I'd never been exposed to poverty."



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Stacey Bess is no "do-gooder," who comes to a place she might never knowingly want to visit and then leaves after a few days. This is commitment. This is real. This matters, because she has mattered in the lives of others.

"What's the bottom line take away from this story?" she is asked.

"I think the Number One thing that Greg (her husband) and I have truly learned is step out of your comfort zone, reach out to people, you don't have to be sophisticated to love somebody, you don't have to have grand skills, you don't have to have a degree, you just have to want to care just a little bit further than what's expected. We're not exceptional people. ... I just happened to have an opportunity to help some young people, and I just happened to have a husband and children who supported me -- and really, we did it together."

That attitude has inspired "Hallmark Hall of Fame" for 60 years. One hopes that in our cynical and hyper-politicized age, it will last for another 60.


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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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