On behalf of JONAH and for the following reasons, we found Naomi Marks’ letter to the editor (“No Quick Fix For Gays,” Sept. 17), arguing against the credibility of JONAH’s programs, to be totally disingenuous.
While Eric Herschthal’s article, “Temporary Housing of the Highest Order” (Sept. 10), does well in describing the halachic complexity of the Sukkah City design competition, it misrepresents the halachic process involved.
First, I consulted the traditional halachic literature in reviewing each sukkah. With regard to the “LOG” entry, the initial design called for a log greater than four handbreadths wide, not less than four, as recorded in the article, since such a log too closely resembles a permanent home.
Comparing Dr. Eliezer Schnall’s data with Drs. David and Karyn Feinberg’s earlier data, one can indeed conclude that the glass is half full (“Orthodox Mental Health Needs Not Being Met: Study,” Aug. 20).
It would be hard to imagine that even Woody Allen could come up with a scene more comically cynical than the following: A woman attends Rosh HaShanah services, opens the book to the correct page, stands up and sits down with everyone else, but does not pray because she does not believe in an “external” God (“Choosing Soul Over Mind,” Sept. 3).
Perhaps the most poignant tragedy of American Jewish life is the incessant institutional turf wars. Your report on tensions between the Boca Raton Jewish community center and neighboring synagogues over High Holiday programs highlights this disheartening trend (“JCC, Synagogues In Holy War In Boca,” Sept. 3).
Marilyn Forman Chandler, Executive Director; Susan Robinson, President, Board of Trustees
Greensboro Jewish Federation, Greensboro, N.C.
We were delighted to see the recognition given to the American Hebrew Academy, one of the many gems in our Jewish community (“For Jewish Boarding School, It’s Old Wine In New Bottle,” Aug. 20). However, we were equally dismayed by author Steven Bayme’s reference to “the relative weakness of Greensboro as a Jewish community.”
Immediate Past President, Mount Sinai Jewish Center, Washington Heights
I enjoyed reading the front-page article about my community, “Washington Heights Jews Caught In A Growth Bind” (Aug. 13). There has not been much press coverage of the amazing growth of the young, Modern Orthodox community here, and I feel it is unfortunate that the first article on the topic is about who is leaving, and not who is moving in.
Your Washington correspondent, James D. Besser, has written a comprehensive piece concerning the talks between Israel and the Palestinians on a face-to-face level (“Renewed Talks Seen Carrying Big Risks,” Aug. 27). The truth is that no one, neither in America or in Israel, has high hopes for a successful outcome of the talks.
It was reprehensible for the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) to disclose to the public that its Vaad Hakavod committee was investigating tabloid media allegations concerning Rabbi Marc Schneier (“Rabbinic Group Poised To Investigate Marc Schneier,” Sept. 3).
The RCA leaders either lacks the sensitivity or the concern about the impact such a statement can have on the reputation of one of their own rabbinic colleagues.
Psychotherapist and former director of the Trembling Before G-d Mental Health Project, Manhattan
As an Orthodox psychotherapist who has treated dozens of Orthodox gay and lesbian clients and their families, I was deeply troubled by Steve Lipman’s portrayal of JONAH as a credible response to the troubling dilemma of the gay Orthodox Jew (“The Controversy Over Curing Homosexuality,” July 30).