Kotel Problem Not Haredi Extremism

05/21/2013 - 20:00

While I agree with Rabbi Yitz Greenberg’s advocacy of the Sharansky compromise in regard to the Western Wall, there are two elements in his Opinion article with which I disagree (“Time For Modern Orthodox Leaders To Speak Out On Kotel Proposal,” Opinion, April 26).

Questions U.S. Arms Sale

05/21/2013 - 20:00

I fail to find the logic in your criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry or President Barack Obama in your editorial, “Crossing The Line” (April 26).

Claims Conference Fraud

05/21/2013 - 20:00

Your newspaper and others reported that management of the Claims Conference had been alerted nearly a decade before about the massive $57 million fraud but failed to act (“Claims Conference Bungled Early Fraud Warning,” May 17).

Surely in any other organization, whether public or private, the executives responsible for such negligence would have been fired or have offered their resignation. The Holocaust survivors being served by this organization have a right to expect similar ethical conduct from executives whose salaries and annual compensations are about equal with that of the head of the “International Monetary Fund.”

National Association of Jewish Child Holocaust Survivors, Inc.

Unfair Report

05/21/2013 - 20:00

I was very concerned to see the blatant lack of accurate reporting on the 15,000 women of all denominations who came to pray and at the same time to peacefully protest Women of the Wall (“Tensions Seen Mounting On Prayer At Wall,” May 17).

The dozen or so riffraff were unfortunate, and the provocation by members of the Women of the Wall made the situation difficult. The numbers speak for themselves. The majority doesn’t want a change. Note that the Israel Democracy Institute found that 38 percent of Israelis support the cause of Women of the Wall, not 62 percent as you reported.

The only question asked was about women wearing male prayer garments [yarmulke, tallit] at the Kotel. It did not include a question about Women of the Wall’s true goal, which is to tear down the existing Israeli religious infrastructure.

Editor’s Note: According to a report in Haaretz, the poll in question, conducted among a representative sample of 600 Israelis ages 18 and above, found that “48 percent support the right of Women of the Wall to pray as they see fit, wearing a prayer shawl and phylacteries and reciting their prayers out loud, whereas 38 percent said they did not support this right.”

Disputes Kotel Disturbance Description

05/21/2013 - 20:00

Joshua Mitnick, in his
article covering the May 10 prayers and protest at the Kotel (“Tensions Seen Mounting on Prayer At Wall, May 17”), 
reported that “the protests on Friday brought out only a small
fraction of the ultra-Orthodox constituency.”

Zero Tolerance For Abuse

05/16/2013 - 20:00

With regard to Yoel Moskowitz’s Opinion piece, “Rabbis And Tough Love” (April 19), I think the author’s observations confirm the reality that most abusers are not persecuting individuals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are rarely, if ever 100 percent evil.

Feeling Alienated From Joy

05/16/2013 - 20:00

Robbie Gringras is not the first person to feel a mix of joy, inspiration, 
comfort, awkwardness, pain and isolation during a joy-filled Shabbat
service (“Shabbat Service Here Highlights Israel-Diaspora Gap,” Opinion, May 10).

Questions For Gringras

05/16/2013 - 20:00

Thanks to Robbie Gringras for his candid and reflective piece on his experience at Romemu (“Shabbat Service Here Highlights Israel-Diaspora Gap,” Opinion, May 10). I
do have a few questions for him.

On Praying At Romemu

05/16/2013 - 20:00

I feel compelled to respond to Robbie Gringras’ article on his Friday
night experience at Romemu (“Shabbat Service Here Highlights Israel-Diaspora Gap,” Opinion, May 10).
Gringras complains that the sermon at Romemu was too individual in focus, 
that it was “a message for a people without a communal identity” and
“ever-so-slightly Christian.

Creating Community

05/06/2013 - 20:00

Kudos to Ted Merwin and the Hillel directors implementing the Peer Network Engagement Initiative (“Jewish Identity, One On One,” Back Of The Book, April 26).

They recognize that “if you build it, they will come” might work in the movies, but it is not a sufficient strategy for engaging Jewish college students. Engaging young adults on their terms and putting people before programming are key to fostering Jewish continuity, on campus and beyond.

Many college grads arrive in New York ready to tackle professional school or take on the business world. Yet they find that New York can be cold and lonely. They lack the community that Hillel and Chabad houses, or even a few like-minded classmates, provided.

The Brownstone NY offers these young adults a space to create their own community (“A ‘Brownstone’ For Young Jews,” May 3). The East Village six-story eco-friendly building features inviting lounges, dining spaces, meeting rooms and a rooftop terrace. It is an ideal place to encourage one-to-one peer conversations. 

Our building is buzzing with classes, social and networking events, alumni reunions, leadership programs, and Shabbat meals.

We’re a welcoming, inclusive place. We invite your readers to check us out.

Program Director Brownstone Russian Initiative

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