Blame Lincoln, Too


Jonathan Sarna’s efforts to “rescue” the reputation of General Ulysses S. Grant and to exonerate President Abraham Lincoln for their expulsion of the Jews from their conquered territory is not supported by the available evidence (“Gen. Grant’s Uncivil War Against The Jews,” March 2).

Indeed, the expulsion order was consistent with other statements and orders by top Union officials.

Great Neck Pride


While reading Gary Rosenblatt’s otherwise thoughtful column, “From a Sephardic Scholar, An ‘Enlightened’ Torah Approach” (Jan. 13), I did double and triple takes as I reeled from his observation: “Sadly, I have come to realize how far apart and sometimes distrustful the Ashkenazic and Sephardic communities can be of each other, even when living in close proximity (Great Neck, for example), and how little, even today, mainstream American Jewry understands and appreciates the Sephardic worldview.”

Lew On Iran


The story, “U.S. General’s Iran Comments Sharpen Rift With Israel” (Feb. 24), inaccurately conveyed the tenor of White House chief of staff Jack Lew’s remarks.

Our notes reflect that he said, “At the core, there is no difference [between the U.S. and Israel] on Iran. Iran cannot and should not develop a nuclear capacity. I hope that no difference exists [regarding a timetable]. If we did not believe there was time we would not be waiting.”

Anne Frank’s Legacy


Lately, a Google News Alert for “Anne Frank” has filled our inbox with a range of online content relating to the famous diarist and Holocaust victim (“Anne, For A New Generation,” Feb. 24).

Civil Agunah Case


The sadness felt by Jonathan Mark over the dissolution of marriages (“Tales Of The Broken Glass, Feb. 24) was movingly expressed, but some of his facts need to be corrected.

While I strongly believe that any abuse of halacha is reprehensible, my words were misunderstood to endorse Mark’s view that equivalency exists in the legal positions, and therefore in the vulnerabilities, of husbands and wives, and that they are equally likely to abuse halacha to secure a divorce. 

Buchanan, Left Or Right?


 Menachem Rosensaft, in his Opinion piece, “The Sins of Pat Buchanan” (Feb. 24), provided a succinct, informative summary of why Pat Buchanan should be regarded as an anti-Semite.

Free Synagogue Seats


It may be refreshing for Francine Klagsbrun (“Synagogues Should Be More Welcoming,” Opinion, Jan. 13) to learn that our Orthodox shul, the Young Israel of Stamford, Conn., has been offering “free seating” to all for the High Holidays since the synagogue’s founding in 1979.

This inclusion of Jews of all stripes to be a part of our holiday services is just one example of the regular inclusion and respect of fellow Jews from various backgrounds, which is a part of the makeup of the Jewish community here in Stamford.

Satmar Kindness


In your interview with the author Deborah Feldman about her book, “Unorthodox” (“Unapologetically Unorthodox,” Feb. 17), Feldman seemingly could not find anything nice to say about the Satmar community save for the smell of cholent.

Diversity In Great Neck


We enjoyed Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “From a Sephardic Scholar, An Enlightened Approach.”  (Jan. 10). However, we were saddened that you included a parenthetical critique of our community as an example of a place where, in your understanding, Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews are “far apart and sometimes distrustful” of one another. To be sure, diversity of culture and traditions poses its challenges and we still have much work to do in this regard.

Open-Door Policy


I am a former trustee at a Reform synagogue that had an open-door High Holiday policy. The synagogue merged with another Reform congregation that has an open-door policy for certain services. Though there is no excuse for the treatment given to Francine Klagsbrun’s friend, people need to step up to the plate and remember that for the three days of the year they attend, we as trustees need to find the money to pay the rent, pay salaries, pay for gas and lights, and keep up the facilities year-round.

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