Gary Rosenblatt, in his Between the Lines column last week (“Israel Lobby And The White House: “Who’ll Blink First?”) tries to build a chain of evidence from some provocative statements made by Yasir Arafat to support for the Menendez-Kirk sanctions bill, but his logic doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
I find it quite hypocritical that Gloria Steinem, a feminist who must know that the status of women in the Arab world is unlike her own status, is critical of Mayor de Blasio’s support of Israel (“Left, Right Spar Over De Blasio’s AIPAC Speech,” Feb. 7). Where is the status of women better — in Israel or in the Arab world?
Regarding Adam Dickter’s front-page article last week (“Left, Right Spar Over De Blasio’s AIPAC Speech”): The 58 rabbis, writers, journalists and sundry others who found New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Jan. 23 visit to AIPAC something to evoke their venom, signed onto a letter shouting, “Your job is not to do AIPAC’s bidding when they call you to do so.”
I was happy to see Jewish Week was covering the SodaStream/Oxfam story until I read the story itself (online Q&A, “ScarJo Stands Firm”). The story struck me not so much as journalism as propaganda for SodaStream with some free public relations damage control thrown in.
Describing Beit Shemesh in a state of religious war (“Is Tide Turning In Beit Shemesh Religious Wars?,” Jan. 24) does not accurately depict the ambience of the town. Over 40 years ago I married into an Orthodox Sephardic family in what is now known as the “old” Beit Shemesh. In those days there were virtually no Americans and few Ashkenazic Israelis who ventured into what was considered a poor development town.
Not only does Al Sharpton owe the Jewish community an apology for his role in the Crown Heights riots, he still owes an apology to the community at-large, and to the innocent district attorney in Westchester, in particular, for his immoral and illegal role in the Tawana Brawley case (“Sharpton-De Blasio Ties,” Jan. 17).
When both spouses share one faith and “model religiosity,” and when fathers provide “warmth, affirmation” and “emotional bonding,” religious cultures are vibrantly transmitted, according to Vern L. Bengston’s new book, “Families and Faith: How Religion Is Passed Down Across Generations.” Reading that book review yesterday, I visualized Dan Smokler carrying his toddler on his shoulders throughout one recent Shabbat morning at Darhei Noam, an Open Orthodox congregation on the Upper West Side.
Regarding “We’re Losing The Continuity Battle. Who Cares?” Editor’s column, Jan. 24: What do you get when you gather a group of conservative thinkers in a room, most of whom don’t have ongoing existential experiences with real Jews confronting the vexing issues of the day, but who rather spend their time in cloistered academic and institutional settings where they get to prognosticate and know that publications like The Jewish Week will gleefully publish their stratospheric opinions? You get suggestions like: We should tell Jews to marry earlier and have more children. And we should tell Jews that intermarriage is bad.
Paul Golin criticizes as failures those who have railed against intermarriage for the past two generations as hopelessly out of touch, citing the recent Pew Research Center report on American Jewry (“In-Marriage Advocates Are Living In The Past,” Jan. 31). Golin is deluding himself. Ninety-six percent of the children of endogamous couples are being raised as religiously Jewish. Of the children of intermarried couples, 25 percent are being raised as religiously Jewish, 20 percent as partly religiously Jewish, and 16 percent as non-religiously Jewish.
Yasher koach to Rabbi Neil Fleischman on his d’var Torah concerning Yitro (“Flying High On Eagles’ Wings,” Sabbath Week, Jan. 17). I found his discussion of poetry centered around the imagery of Hashem as an eagle sheltering us beneath the divine wings to be inspiring and uplifting, if you will pardon the pun. I have found his periodic commentaries in your newspaper to be creative and original. He will often discuss pertinent topics and passages that are not usually noticed, addressed or deemed important in a sincere, but often humorous and interesting fashion.
Young Families, Singles Flocking to Upper East Side; ‘The Memory Is In Their Taste Buds’: The Lure of Sephardic Food; Safra Synagogue Rabbi’s Growing Empire; Sephardic And Egalitarian at B’nai Jeshurun; Giving Voice to Sephardic Music.