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.”

Focus On Gender Issues


While the debate about filling the void of a national Jewish population study is certainly worthwhile (“How Many U.S. Jews, And Who Cares?” Nov. 4), the disconcerting silence about gender at the Brandeis socio-demography of American Jewry conference also merits attention. By gender I mean the socially constructed roles of men and women, and the power dynamics between the sexes.

Jewster And Philanthropy


Your article on innovation in the Jewish dating scene, “Yenta 2.0” (Nov. 4) left out Jewster’s most attractive feature. A key element of the Jewster.com site is that it is also a platform for philanthropy. Members donate 20 percent of their subscription to one of a select group of Jewish organizations and ventures. In addition to matching singles with each other, Jewster helps build community by matching members with Jewish events and by crowd-sourcing financial support and new donors for Jewish organizations. Our

Countering Cardinal Koch


I believe Cardinal Koch, in his sincere attempt to quell the controversy, may have misspoken. Pave the Way Foundation does not support the canonization of anyone (“New Dialogue Leader Off To Bad Start,” Nov. 4). PTWF is a nonsectarian organization that impartially moves to identify and eliminate non-theological obstacles between religions. We never endorse specific religious processes such as canonization. Personally, speaking as a Jew, canonization is Catholic concept.

Segregated Bus Line


Your article on the segregated (by gender) bus line in Brooklyn (“Segregated Bus Line Tacitly Sanctioned For Decades,” Oct. 28) contained this quote from Queens College sociology professor Samuel Heilman, author of two books about haredi life in America: “This is about owning the public square.

Take Him At His Word


Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Council, recently stated on Al Jazeera in Arabic, the following, which was translated into English by MEMRI: “The settlement should be based on the borders of June 4, 1967 (“Arab Media Says What U.S. Media Won’t,” The Edge of Town, Oct. 21).

Don’t Blame Researchers


As host of the conference on socio-demography recently held at Brandeis University, I very much appreciated Gary Rosenblatt’s commentary (“How Many U.S. Jews? And Who Cares?” Oct. 28). Indeed, the Jewish community needs systematic and up-to-date information about its size and character, despite the challenges of collecting such data.

Yale And Jewish Future


Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove’s Opinion piece, “Former Soviet Union Illuminates New Jewish World” (Oct. 14), pointedly concludes that in the “post-assimilationist” 21st century, capturing the minds, hearts and souls of Jews around the world, whether in the former Soviet Union, Israel or the United States, requires compelling, inspirational models of Jewish engagement rather than leaning on past affiliations or generational attachments that may no longer be accessible or relevant for contemporary Jews.

Speaking Out


It is interesting indeed that the mainstream media has not shown one of the anti-Semitic signs or focused on any of the anti-Semitic verbiage at the Zuccotti Park demonstrations (“What Now For ‘Occupy’ Protests?” Oct. 14).

Not one Democratic party member of Jewish origin, not one U.S. senator and not one U.S. congressman has spoken out against the anti-Semitism expressed during these demonstrations.

Free Services


Town and Village Synagogue has been offering free High Holiday Services for over 15 years. When Rabbi Abby Sosland joined our staff, through a generous grant from UJA-Federation of New York, we were able to offer free services for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. While we have a suggested donation, we don’t turn

anyone away (until we run out of room).

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