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Editorial & Opinion | Letters

02/28/2012 | | Letters

In your interview with the author Deborah Feldman about her book, “Unorthodox” (“Unapologetically Unorthodox,” Feb. 17), Feldman seemingly could not find anything nice to say about the Satmar community save for the smell of cholent.

02/21/2012 | | Letters

We enjoyed Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “From a Sephardic Scholar, An Enlightened Approach.”  (Jan. 10). However, we were saddened that you included a parenthetical critique of our community as an example of a place where, in your understanding, Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews are “far apart and sometimes distrustful” of one another. To be sure, diversity of culture and traditions poses its challenges and we still have much work to do in this regard.

02/21/2012 | | Letters

I am a former trustee at a Reform synagogue that had an open-door High Holiday policy. The synagogue merged with another Reform congregation that has an open-door policy for certain services. Though there is no excuse for the treatment given to Francine Klagsbrun’s friend, people need to step up to the plate and remember that for the three days of the year they attend, we as trustees need to find the money to pay the rent, pay salaries, pay for gas and lights, and keep up the facilities year-round.

02/21/2012 | | Letters

It was no surprise to read Francine Klagsbrun write that her friend, searching for a welcoming synagogue where he could pray for High Holy Days services, found an open and warm reception at the local Chabad in Westchester (“Synagogues Should Be More Welcoming,” Opinion, Jan. 13).

What was surprising to read was her immediate statement afterward, tempering her praise of Chabad with the fact that she finds it “cult-like” and registering her disappointment with its refusal to recognize non-Orthodox movements and its lack of egalitarianism.

02/21/2012 | | Letters

In your article “Mission Accomplished, Ecumenically” (Feb. 3), Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is to be commended for his interfaith trip to Israel. In doing so he has changed many attitudes toward Jews and Israel.
I just wish that he would also visit Efrat and other well-established Jewish towns in the West Bank to try to give his guests a balanced approach to what some people call an occupation.

I know he is against the settlements, but in the true nature of democracy, giving a chance to those he doesn’t agree with would make him more enlightening.
 

02/21/2012 | | Letters

I read with great interest the story about Deborah Feldman and her decision to leave the Satmar community (“Unapologetically ‘Unorthodox,’” Feb. 17). Feldman’s journey out of her community reflects many of the challenges that confront those whom we serve at Footsteps, the only organization in North America with a mission to assist ultra-Orthodox men and women interested in exploring life in the secular world.