New Israel Fund Statements


Whether the New Israel Fund is “anti-Israel” or not is a matter of opinion; whether it is “in favor of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel” is a matter of fact.

IPF Not ‘Centrist’


Your interview with the chairman of the resurrected Israel Policy Forum adopts his self-description of IPF as “centrist” (“IPF Back In Fray,” June 22). That organization is anything but. Adopting a self-description can be highly inaccurate. For example, the fact that another group that lobbies Congress against Israeli positions calls itself “pro-Israel” hardly makes that label true.

Defends Peres


While I readily grant that Gary Rosenblatt has a far greater awareness and knowledge of currents of thought in Israel, I found his denigration of Shimon Peres (“Looking To Future, Peres Draws A Crowd,” June 29) difficult to understand or pardon.

Surely Peres has a right to stand alongside of Ben-Gurion and Dayan as the most admired of Israeli leaders. “Mocked” by whom — the admirers of the assassin of Rabin? Surely a man who has served Israel in so many difficult and important posts deserves a better tag.

No Fan Of Kissinger


In reading Gary Rosenblatt’s column (June 29) on bestowing the Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction on Henry Kissinger, I was disgusted to read that Israeli President Shimon Peres called him “a great statesman and a great Jew.”

Perhaps Mr. Peres was not aware of Kissinger’s comment to President Nixon in March 1973: “If they put Jews in gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern.” Surely Mr. Peres could have found many people more worthy of this honor.


Naïve About Barron


The Jewish Week’s editorial concerning Charles Barron left me scratching my head (“Representing Brooklyn On Capitol Hill,” June 22).

Shortly after it appeared, Barron was endorsed by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke as they share a similar hatred for Israel. And although Barron dismissed the endorsement as “foolishness,” he pointedly did not condemn Duke or his blatant anti-Semitism.

In Praise Of JCRC


In light of the letter in the June 15 issue by H. Lewis criticizing the New York Jewish Community Relations Council, we think it imperative to respond.

Following The Scouts


Rabbi Laura Geller’s innovative creation of 13 “merit badges” which defined the path to the bar/bat mitzvah ceremony recalled for me my exciting years as a Boy Scout decades ago (“URJ Overhauling The Bar/Bat Mitzvah,” Editor’s column, June 22).

It made me wonder whether the “terminal degree” function of the bar/bat mitzvah could be replaced and thought of as only a transitional step in the development of one’s Jewish identity by using the Boy Scout model.

In The Beginning


The fine interview of Susan Weidman Schneider in the “Jewish Women Now” special section (“A Journalistic Room of One’s Own,” June 22) gets it partly wrong in characterizing Schneider as “founding editor.”

Don’t Trash Judah Maccabee


I’m convinced. Mel Gibson should not play Judah Maccabee (“Mel Gibson and Judah Maccabee? Not a Good Mix,” Opinion, May 25). In fact, Gibson should crawl into some dark hole, never to be heard from again.

Be More Welcoming


There has been lots of attention paid to the recent census numbers of New York’s Jewish population regarding the shrinking middle, i.e., Jews that are identified as belonging to the Conservative and Reform movements (“Sweeping Changes To Jewry Seen In N.Y. Population Survey,” June 15). Let us not just bemoan the situation.

Let us take action, seek out, welcome and entice the uncommitted of all ages, the intermarried, all those who have not shared in a meaningful Jewish experience or do not as yet identify in a positive way with being Jewish.

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