Letters

Strong Words, No Action

11/26/2014
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Your Nov. 18 editorial (“Can Only a Beheading Evoke Horror Today?”) took issue with the response of the Obama administration to the Jerusalem massacre. “Evil acts must be thwarted, not just disapproved,” you wrote. But so far all we hear are the usual words of disapproval.

Improving Life For Israeli Arabs

11/26/2014
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Daniel Seidemann, founder and director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, claimed, “The Palestinians of east Jerusalem see
themselves as living lives of desperation … under a government that is
apathetic if not hostile to their needs” (“Coming To Terms With ‘Reality’ Of Jerusalem,” N.Y. Minute, Nov. 14).

Ganging Up On Bibi

11/26/2014
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On Oct. 31, The Jewish Week departed from constructive criticism to publish an Israel-bashing Editorial, “Bibi Takes On The World.” At the same time, The Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg, known for reflecting the administration’s views, was writing a column where he quoted vulgar and insulting attacks against Israel’s prime minister by (still) unnamed senior administration officials.

Helping Agunot

11/26/2014
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Mavoi Satum, one of the leading organizations fighting for the rights of
agunot in Israel, is delighted that the International Beit
Din has started functioning and wishes Rabbi Krauss and his staff the best of
luck in this important endeavor (“New Court Set To Free Agunot,” Nov. 21).

New Agunah Court

11/26/2014
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I believe that the quotations in my name regarding the religious court of Rav Simcha Krauss did not truly express my position (“New Court Set To Free Agunot,” Nov. 21). 

Temple Mount Tensions

11/19/2014
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I am in Israel as I write this, having been in Jerusalem with Partners for
Progressive Israel’s symposium a few days this week and having in fact toured
the city with Daniel Seidemann (“Coming To Terms With ‘Reality’ Of Jerusalem,” N.Y. Minute, Nov. 14).

Warnings On Conversion Vote

11/19/2014
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Your article on the front page of the Nov. 7 issue, “Conversions Vote
Loosens Grip of Chief Rabbinate,” rightly celebrates a small but conceivably
significant step towards ending the monopoly of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate
over all issues of personal status, including conversion. Any change in the
status quo is certainly welcome.

Negative Take On Foxman Successor?

11/19/2014
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Near the end of your front-page article last week about Jonathan Greenblatt being named
as successor to Abe Foxman at Anti-Defamation League (“Questions Over ADL’s Direction In Wake Of Top Pick”), you quote one observer as calling the
appointment “a sign that American Jewry is not grooming young leaders to
take top professional positions.”
Here’s a suggestion: Stop nitpicking and second-guessing emerging new
leaders before they even have their first day on the job.

Synagogue Boards And Holiness

11/12/2014
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Regarding last week’s “Musings” column by Rabbi David Wolpe (“Make Room For Holiness”): Sadly, in my experience, the “we are running a business” mentality vacuums out holiness from a synagogue boardroom. The bottom line and minutia of policy trample spiritual concerns. The rabbi and the context in which a rabbi can help decisions be framed are shunted aside in the name of good business practice. This rabbi-less model seems to be accepted, even promoted, as the norm within Reform and Conservative movements.

‘Klinghoffer’ And CBST

11/12/2014
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I’m writing regarding the debate over the opera “The Death of Klinghoffer,” in relation to an article several months ago about the Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the largest gay and lesbian congregation in the world. The article from the recent past (“Gaza War Pushes Israel, Reluctantly, Onto Holiday Bima,” Sept. 19) described how the rabbi read a list of [Palestinian] casualties during the Gaza crisis as well reading from the Koran. A member of the board had to resign due to the unwillingness of the board to censor the rabbi in any way.

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