As a Jew, I feel for teacher Scott Mandel's dilemma about taking a stand on having the students in his religiously mixed sixth-grade class positioned to acknowledge Santa Claus ("December's Dilemma," Dec. 17).
Mandel recognizes that Santa is not a "religious or sacred" symbol but is "representative of a sacred holiday."
But then so is the national recognition of Christmas as a national holiday.
Yet Mandel surely wouldn't expect the school to remain open on Dec. 25 so that non-Christian students are not positioned to recognize that day by non-attendance.
My point is that non-Christians can best learn how to live in a predominantly Christian culture by making relatively innocuous accommodations that neither do violence to their beliefs nor are patently offensive to the majority.
Indeed, the best learning experience for such kids is to join the spirit of the secular aspects of the occasion and enjoy it for what it's worth.
FRED NATHAN, Los Angeles