Some recent news items indicate a misunderstanding of the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s mission and its democratically run operations, and so require a response. (“JCC Festival Accused Of Hurting Israel,” Feb. 4, and “Culture Group Rebuffs Bid To Condemn Boycotts,” Dec. 31). Our mission is to invest in creative individuals in order to nurture a vibrant and enduring Jewish identity, culture and community. We are one of the relatively few organizations in the Jewish world to support individual artists and scholars, and we have been doing so for 50 years.
Your article last week, “JCC Festival Accused of Hurting Israel,” was seriously misleading. Recent events in the Middle East, with potentially dire consequences for peace and democracy in the entire region, remind us all of the importance of our political and economic connections and the messages they send to the broader community.
Concerning “Seeing Red at Magen David Adom” (Jan. 28, “In The Beginning”), American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) has a proud legacy of service to Israel, starting before the establishment of the state. Our 71-year history of dedicated support for Magen David Adom has been a close and warm one. Like all organizations raising funds for Israeli institutions, there have been cultural disagreements; however, the bonds between us remain strong and unbroken.
Kudos to Rabbi Dov Linzer for his public statement that insisting on the cardio-respiratory definition of death while permitting the acceptance of a vital organ is “morally untenable” (“Pushback From Some Orthodox Rabbis On Brain-Death Ruling,” Jan. 14). He is undoubtedly correct.
The position that a Jew is prohibited from donating a heart, but may receive one, violates the most fundamental axiom of ethical reasoning, and as such cannot be justified morally.
We applaud your article reflecting a realistic picture of Jewish life in Europe that is far more positive than that often depicted in American and Israeli media (“LimmudUK: Success On A Grand Scale,” Between the Lines, Jan. 7). As well as the large cultural events you mention, such as Limmud and the growth in Jewish cultural centers, there is also a growth in synagogue-based activity.