Don’t Stifle Criticism


Gary Rosenblatt, in his column, “A Unity Pledge That Backfired (Proving Its Point),” Nov. 18, contends that the ADL-AJC Unity Pledge did not seek to limit criticism of President Barack Obama’s policy towards Israel and that “it behooves the American Jewish community to be on good terms with him rather than burn its bridges in seeking his defeat.”

Uneven Young Israel Policy


Regarding the article, “Amid Upheaval, National Council of Young Israel Celebrates 100th” (Nov. 11), the Council is not applying evenly the right to take a disenfranchised branch’s assets. When the Young Israel of Fifth Avenue left the movement to become the 16th Street Synagogue, the Council did not take its assets.

Young Israel Conflict


It is telling that The Jewish Week refers to the complaints of some Young Israel branches against the national organization as an “upheaval” while your periodic portrayals of changes in the Conservative and Reform movements are nice people working things out (“Amid Upheaval, National Council of Young Israel Celebrates 100th,” Nov. 11).

I guess The Jewish Week just can’t help itself.

Taking Sides


On the website of the “Other Film Festival,” Carol Zabar, founder and member of the boards of the JCC and its co-sponsor, the New Israel Fund, states: “It is not about the conflict — it is not about taking sides — this festival is about people ... paving the way to co-existence and a new, more inclusive culture in the Middle East.”

Early Criticism Of Pius XII


It is simply not true, as Gary Krupp of Pave the Way Foundation asserts, that criticism of Pope Pius XII’s public behavior during the Holocaust was “artificially created” and unknown until Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” (Letters, Nov. 11).

Stop Cowering


While I am heartbroken at the plight of the agunot, regarding the Opinion piece by Rivka Haut and Susan Aranoff, “Religious Courts Are Treating Agunot Unfairly” (Oct. 25), I must question why they would feel so ashamed to be issued a seruv (halachic contempt citation) from an institution so obviously corrupt and unworthy of any honorable Jew’s respect.

Prenups Are Not Enough


Rabbi Shlomo Weissmann’s Opinion piece, “A Long-Term Solution To The Agunah Problem” (Nov. 11), asserts that the prenuptial agreement, which is in wide use by Rabbinical Council of America rabbis, is a panacea/solution that resolves the get (religious divorce) problem.

This is misleading. The prenup, while it may have good intentions, is almost impossible to enforce.

Other Israel Film Festival


George Robinson writes that the Other Israel Film Festival is “melancholy, exhausted by the ossified position of the Israelis and their Palestinian neighbors” (“The Melancholy Israel Film Festival,” Nov. 4). Robinson my not have noticed it but our festival is not about the Palestinian neighbors but about the 1.7 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel.

Those Arab citizens might well be exhausted by the growing level of racism that is becoming acceptable in Israel, but that is not what you will see in the festival.

Treatment Of Agunot


 While I am heartbroken at the plight of the agunot in your article (“Religious Courts Are Treating Agunot Unfairly,” Oct. 25), I must question why they would feel so ashamed to be issued a seruv from an institution so obviously corrupt and unworthy of any honorable Jew’s respect.

The very idea that women need to vet batei din [religious courts] to make certain they are respectful of women and above suspicion of bias or conflict of interest, points to the inconsistency and illegitimacy of the entire system.

Dispute Over ‘Good News’ Research


I was shocked by Howard Rieger’s remarkably anti-intellectual and narrow-minded comment (“Demographers Should Help Rather Than Criticize,” Nov. 4) describing the ongoing, critical survey evaluation of Birthright Israel programs as “Research that doesn’t uncover anything new.”

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