Andrew Fretwell misrepresents the position of Mordecai Kaplan on mixed marriage in his online op-ed piece, “Intermarriage, Sledding And That Big, Scary Tree” (posted online). In 1956, Kaplan wrote as follows in “Questions Jews Ask”:
Kudos to Lehman Weichselbaum and The Jewish Week for the article about Clayton Patterson (“Lower Insider,” Feb. 6). We have known each other for more than 30 years and I’ve always considered him an honorary Jew. Your article reminds me that I wanted to buy two more sets of his three-volume anthology of “Jews: A People’s History of the Lower East Side.” Before I could finish the 1,349 page opus, my brother-in-law borrowed the three tomes from me and it is now slowly making the rounds in my family. I had also promised the rabbi of my neighborhood synagogue that I was going to donate a set to the Adereth El library. Thanks for the reminder.
Wonderful article on Clayton Patterson (“Lower Insider,” Feb. 6)! He continues to try to keep the old Lower East Side alive; he’s like a person piling sandbags along the Mississippi to keep the river from inundating the surrounding countryside.
As someone who has worked with all of the volunteers sent by the German agency ARSP (Action Reconciliation Service for Peace) to work at Project Ezra over the last 30 years, I want to thank Sandee Brawarsky for accurately portraying the important collaboration between our two organizations in her article last week, “From Berlin To Eritrea To The Lower East Side.” I believe that this has been a mutually beneficial experience, enriching both our Jewish elders as well as the German teenagers, and Brawarsky captures it perfectly.
Regarding Gary Rosenblatt’s Jan. 23 column, “Can Pro-Israel Films Reach A Wide Audience?”: The director of the JCC in Manhattan’s Israel Film Center, Isaac Zaplocki, has always found excuses to reject films that portray Israel in a positive light, such as “Above and Beyond,” which shows the heroism of American Jewish pilots in Israel’s war of independence. However, he has no difficulty promoting Arab propaganda films that the JCC presents in its annual “Other Film Festival.”
Regarding your ongoing coverage of Islamic radicalism, the image of a man set on fire is haunting. The fact that this brutal act against a fellow Muslim was performed in the name of God makes it even worse. If this is not a call to moderate and peace-loving Muslims to join the battle against ISIS and radical Islam, then I don’t know what is. The silence of moderate Muslims needs to be broken and I’m hoping that Jordan’s revulsion at their air pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s kidnapping and murder will propel them and other Muslim nations to speak out and fight back.