I am a former student of Yeshivat HaKotel and am writing to express my disgust at the hatchet job your newspaper perpetrated against Rabbi Aharon Bina (“Has The ‘Tough Love’ Rebbe Gone Too Far?” Jan. 27).
In your article, “Mission Accomplished, Ecumenically” (Feb. 3), Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch is to be commended for his interfaith trip to Israel, and in doing so has changed many attitudes toward Jews and Israel. I just wish that he would also visit Efrat and other well-established Jewish towns in the West Bank to try to give his guests a balanced approach to what some people call an occupation.
I know he is against the settlements but in the true nature of democracy, giving a chance to those he doesn’t agree with would make him more enlightening.
David Sable used the Beit Shemesh fiasco as an opportunity to lash out viciously against other Jews in his article, “Stop Enabling Our Jewish Fanatics”(Opinion, Jan. 20).
First of all, the worst sign of bigotry is to lump everyone together and to tar them with the same brush. As a Jew, Sable should be aware that this has been done too many times in the course of our history with terrible results.
In his recent writings about Jewish teens, Len Saxe has suggested that based on the work of Amy Sales, “we need big ideas that can be implemented and evaluated … and have the reach of a mega-program, such as Taglit-Birthright Israel” (“Engaging Jewish Teens Through A Jewish Service Corps,” Opinion, Dec. 30).
The outstanding record of accomplishment in terms of outreach and retention by Jewish Student Union (JSU) high school clubs showcases unprecedented level of engagement. It’s a big idea that’s working.
I would like to express my gratitude to The Jewish Week for publishing William Rapfogel’s timely opinion piece, “When Jewish Foundations Ignore Core Needs” (Jan. 20). Finally, one of the leaders in the Jewish world went on a limb to discuss the unfortunate philosophies and practices of some foundations ignoring the plight of the impoverished Jewish population.
It is distressing that Israel’s deputy consul general in New York, Shlomi Kofman, walked out while the president of the Jewish Labor Committee, Stuart Applebaum, was offering remarks, some critical, about the current Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinians (“Israeli Official Leaves JLC Dinner After Criticism of Netanyahu,” Jan. 27).
In the article on Rav Bina, Gorsetman and Rosenblatt ask a rhetorical question: “But some are wondering why, indeed, Netiv Aryeh is so popular, with an estimated 110 first-year and 60 second-year American students … Why do families, deeply concerned about the emotional, educational and spiritual well-being of their children, continue to send their sons to study with Rav Bina when his controversial reputation is so well known?”
Every single thing that is written in this article [on Rav Bina] is 100 percent true. I know this because in my relatively short three-month stint in Yeshivat Hakotel over 10 years ago I personally experienced every single one of them … and more.
I was called every name (the name that stuck and that I was called publicly by Rav Bina was “cancer” and or “poison”), banned from attending classes, abused physically by Rav Bina’s faithful sidekick, sent to therapy, told I was violent and much more.
I have Rav Bina to thank for the fact that I still take time out to learn and for the fact that I am constantly looking to grow. Despite this slander, Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh will continue to have the highest amount of students every year, will continue to have the most second-year students for a yeshiva of its kind, and will continue to not only guide students to have the best student-to-staff ratio (3-to-1 last time I checked), to ensure
that Netiv Aryeh students have the highest level of care.